Uma Baban Shitole

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“I want to recharge the groundwater sources in my village, and fight climate change.”

Using the Fellowship opportunity, Uma’s dream is to restore and recharge the groundwater sources, build 500 soak pits, and plant 5000 saplings to fight climate change.

Uma Shitole from Kalamb village in Osmanabad, is enthusiastic, young and has an innate love for nature. She strongly believes that anything that causes degradation of the environment should be discarded. She is also a serial entrepreneur and has a network of over 500 women.

It is difficult to imagine the harsh realities of her past. Yet she is a survivor, very energetic and generous in her outlook. On become a clean energy entrepreneur she started earning money by selling solar products. This is when she realized she had become valuable to her family.

Uma is still disturbed by the thoughts of the drought of 2013-14 in Marathwada. All the wells and streams in the village had dried up and people found it difficult to even get water to drink. She is of the firm belief that to face such droughts restoration of the environment is the only way out.

Using the Fellowship opportunity, Uma’s dream is to restore and recharge the groundwater sources, build 500 soak pits, and plant 5000 saplings to fight climate change.

Villagers have built over 500 toilets but no soak pits. Uma plans to call on the Gram Sabha first, and mobilize all women to work together to dig pits near the toilets of at least 500 households.

She also wants to plant 5000 plants. Villages have open spaces and if each household can plant 4-5 saplings, they will accomplish her mission. Villagers don’t have to take extra efforts to water them as they just have to use the water when they wash utensils or sitting at courtyard. She is confident in the practicality of the idea.

SSP has taught her ways to do environment-friendly farming or plantation and has techniques of water restoration practices. She would use this training in achieving her goals.

Uma wants her village to be a role model in ‘girl pride’; one that promotes girls’ education and career. She also conducts workshops and gives lectures to discourage the practice of female foeticide.