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Vanarai Bund

An Innovation without a copyright!

Necessity is the mother of inventions!

Rural India comprises of 6 Lacs + villages, where rural masses are majorly dependent on natural resources to make their ends meet. Agricultural land apparently being their strength, the weak condition of water resources and the soil degradation phenomenon are the major threats to rural prosperity.

Vanarai was founded by Dr. Mohan Dharia in the year 1986 who even founded Confederation of NGO’s of Rural India (CNRI). The foundational pillars of Vanarai are built upon focusing on Natural Resource Management. As the organization grew older and wiser while the imminent threat of Climate Change and its effects started taking a heavy toll on Rural India’s socio-economic scenario. The need to address the problem of water scarcity post-winters was becoming a widespread concern not only from an agricultural standpoint but also in terms of drinking water.

Being an organization, our reach was limited to a few hundred villages. However, the need for sufficient water was across the country. This was when in the Early 2000s Vanarai Bund was innovated.

Enabling Water Availability for rural Masses:

Vanarai Bund is a No to Low-cost innovation with 2 main objectives.

  • To create extended period of water availability in existing water bodies.
  • To improve groundwater recharge for increasing water table levels.

The idea behind this innovation is to enable “More from less for More”. Vanarai bunds are majorly built on drainage lines with stable slopes. These bunds are basically replacements for heavy investment water harvesting structures like CNB’s (Cement Nala Bunds) that cost around a Million Rupees (12000 $). Vanarai bunds last one complete season extending the water availability period for 2-3 months. This acts favorably for 2nd crops (winter crops) productivity and creates a provision for drinking water through well-recharge in the starting months of summer season.

Vanarai bunds are now a movement. Every year more than 300,000 Vanarai Bunds are built in Maharashtra state alone through local NGOs, the Government of Maharashtra’s Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS), Department of Agriculture, Department of Forest, and People’s Participation.

The young generation is also a part of this movement, which has led to UNICEF taking note of the revolutionary bunds in Yawatmal district of Maharashtra state (India). UNICEF, India has even published about it on their website.

This water conservation technique is very well-acknowledged and accepted throughout the country. Our beloved Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi recognized it and implemented this similar technique, giving it a local name ‘Bori Bund’ in the state of Gujarat when he was then Chief Minister.



  • Removing stones and mud from the identified site, to avoid water flow beneath the bunds.
  • Filling the gunny bags with silt and fine stone granules.
  • Stitching the gunny bags with the help of rope and needles
  • Arranging the gunny bags in two parallel rows, leaving a little space in the middle. After every 2-3 layers, this Space is filled with silt from the surrounding area, so that no water flows from the gaps between the bags.
  • This process has to be repeated every year, by replacing the gunny bags.


  • 700 to 800 Gunny Bags for 12-meter bunds.
  • Filled with locally available Silt and fine stone granules – from the same drainage lines.
  • Ropes and needles to stitch gunny bags

Vanarai Bund


The concept of “Vanarai Bund” involves constructing small earthen embankments that prevent soil erosion and water runoff, promoting groundwater recharge and supporting sustainable agriculture while safeguarding the environment. Considering the socio-economic limitations and water needs, Vanarai Bund as an innovation plays a strong role in defense against the problems related to soil and water

resources. Vanarai Bunds act as a huge catalyst and are created through locally available stones and silt, which makes them a low-cost solution. A true exhibit of People’s Movement for Green India, where – small efforts create great impact.
Recently Vanarai was invited to the UN 2023 Water Conference at the United Nations headquarters, USA. Our initiatives and innovations in the field of Water Conservation were well appreciated by representatives of underdeveloped countries.