Rahat, an environment-friendly mechanism for irrigation
Rahat, an environment-friendly mechanism for irrigation

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Rahat, a traditional technique of irrigation of Madhya Pradesh has been displayed on the social media pages of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal.

It is part of an online exhibition series-40, which began on Thursday. It is one of the important exhibits installed in Traditional Technology Park open air exhibition of museum. It was collected from state’s Bhind district.

Museum assistant Mohan Lal Goyal said Rahat is one of the important and effective traditional techniques of irrigation used in plain areas of the country.

Apart from Bhind, Rahat is also used in Rajasthan and other plain areas. With this traditional irrigation technique, one can easily understand the traditional skill and wisdom of farmers related to conservation of the environment.

The exhibit is made of iron and local wood, which consists of a large iron wheel that is connected to an iron pipe. This large wheel is placed vertically in the middle of the well with wooden support.

In this exhibit, 29 small iron buckets are attached and hung in the well through chain. The number of buckets is based on the depth of the well. A small iron wheel is attached vertically to the other end of iron pipe having iron gears. It is called Gharia.

Another wheel is fitted horizontally under this Gharia in a way that their gear gets stuck in it. A wooden Balli is fixed in the axle of horizontal wheel and rotated in a circle by one or two oxen. This also rotates the second large wheel placed vertically in the well.

As a result, the water-filled buckets come out of the well and empty the water into a wooden or tin canoe that reaches the field through a small canal. For irrigation, the field water is distributed through drains. By this method, the oxen do not require much labour in extracting water for irrigation. A person is required to drive oxen.

No electricity or fossil fuels are used in this technique of irrigation. It also protects the environment. At present, diesel or solar energy pumps are used for irrigation replacing Rahat. Yet, it is still used in remote areas, Goyal said.

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