Shri. R.K. Sama, IFS (Rtd.)

Currently engaged with
  1. Shroff Foundation Trust, Vadodara
  2. Dhruva (BAIF) and GRISERV (BAIF), Pune
  3. Rural Development & Management Institute, Ahmedabad

Key Assignments

  • Helping SFT to formulate, implement livelihood development programs for around fifty thousand families of tribal community in aspirational district of Narmada , Chotaudaipur ,
  • Engaged in activities empowering communities to optimally manage and improve the resources: land and water and creating productive assets at household and community level.
  • Established a vocational training center at Paldi for SFT, where, more than one thousands tribal girls and boys are trained and gainfully employed every year.
  • Engaged as Member of task force constituted by Jal Jeevan Mission GOI for reviewing efficacy of DW programs across country and to suggest the strategy for different regions/ states which submitted its report in September 2020
  • Worked as Senior Consultant (Watershed) to Gujarat State Rural Development Corporation Limited and Rural Development Department Gandhinagar (1998-99).
  • Conducted a study and process documentation of Joint Forest Management in Gujarat. - awarded by OECF, Japan (1998 - 2002).
  • Worked as Adviser to Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat (1999-2000).
  • Conducted Evaluation Studies of Watershed Development Projects in Gujarat.
  • Prepared report "To study the possibilities on large scale watershed development." for national commission for Integrated Water Resource Plan, Government of India. (1999)
  • Member of Project Management Committee for "Drought Proofing Project" under Prime Minister Relief Fund in Kutch district.
  • Rehabilitated 52 villages in earthquake affected Kutch district- (2001-2003). Constructed around 9000 houses (homes) and other infrastructure in 52 villages
  • Successfully coordinated to repair through NGOs, around 100 earthquake induced damaged medium and minor irrigation schemes in Kutch district, in record time of 90 days so as to avoid further damage in rains. The irrigation facilities were restored, which usually would have taken three years at enormous cost.
  • As Project Director, Water & Sanitation Management Organization, Government of Gujarat, promoting community-managed drinking water supply and sanitation in whole state. One of the founder member and member of its Governing Body & Executive Committee. (January 2003 to 2012.)
  • Helped six other states to formulate strategies for community participation in managing rural drinking water supply in their states and to manage change.

Key Achievements

  • Prepared State memorandum for DAPAP/DDP, submitted to Governments of India's Dr. Y.K. Alagh Committee (1989) and Hanumant Rao Committee (1993) and helped these committees to prepare strategy and guidelines by GOI.
  • Involvement in Grounding Watershed Works as per new guidelines in the state of Gujarat as Deputy Commissioner of Rural Development and evolving training programs and Conducting series of Training, Seminars, Workshops in Watershed Development Programs (1994-2001)
  • Member of Pioneering team, worked with Prof Robert chamber of Sussex university to refine and use Participatory Rural appraisal (PRA) ,as a tool for development activities in whole country.
  • Deputy Conservator of Forests, Rajpipla, East Division (1984-1986), pioneered the work of JFM in Division, where the community was organized to protect and nurse the forests falling in there village limits.
  • Dy Commissioner, Rural Development (1982-1984) - Handled the works of Drought Proofing in the State through DPAD/DDP programmes.
  • Deputy Conservator of forests, Devgadh Baria Division, Panchmahal (1978-1982) pioneered the scheme of Social Security through Forests Plantation.
  • Project Administrator and Project Officer for Primitive Tribal Groups, Surat(1976-1977) ,Prepared Monogram and Project for Primitive Group Kotwaliya and executed it
  • Deputy Conservator of Forests, Vyara (1975-76)
  • One of the First Officer associated with pioneered work in initiating Social Forestry Pilot Project, first in the country (1969-1975)

Strategy adopted

  • Water security is the first and last post for any agriculture development. Historically, the vertical program and the ‘supply driven ‘service model in India, which has viewed “the poor as humble recipients of state- generated largesse” is difficult to reverse. But, one lesson is learnt and very clearly emerged in last two decades, that is- “without real involvement and commitment from the people, especially the women, the users, no water security can be obtained”.
  • Over exploitation of underground water is damaging the most efficient storage provided by nature. It availability at every possible place is most cost effective and great advantage. Thus, to recharge the aquifers the most efficient method is “ make rain water walk, and on way hold it in appropriate water harvesting structures. “ . It can also be augmented at appropriate places by artificial recharging or by transferring water in streams and rivers from surplus generated by floods in other places. This needs a paradigm shift in designing the programs for water availability.
  • Shift to demand management from present supply management of ‘water’ is inevitable and that is possible only through communities. Empirical evidences show, that such managed programs (watersheds, landscapes, WHS) on average are capable of increasing soil absorbed moisture retention by 10%. These can enhance aquifer recharging around by another 10-15 % of rainfall and rest runoff can be added to surface storages. This is the only way to water security for agriculture and ecological management and for drinking purposes.
  • Overall 700-800 mms of rain is sufficient for all the requirements in a micro watershed for optimal land based production and other requirements, and that’s possible by decentralisation of power, authority and supporting community with appropriate technology and building their capacities to manage it. It is also making them responsible. Further, incidentally such approach is capable of “improving and maintaining soil’s productivity / fertility” a cornerstone for assured land based production.