There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
WOTR is headed by its Executive Director, Prakash Keskar. An agricultural engineer by training with a BTech from the Mahatma Phule Agriculture University Rahuri, Prakash also holds an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Pune and has been working in the development sector for the last 25 years (21 years of which have been in WOTR), across various levels and geographies. His areas of expertise include watershed development, climate change adaptation, natural resource management, integrated water resources Development and food and livelihoods. He has served in key positions of large-scale watershed projects like the Indo-German Watershed Development (in the Programme Coordination Unit) and the Watershed Development Fund (WDF) of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, NABARD (in the Project Sanctioning Committee). He has also led and participated in several consultancy assignments on behalf of WOTR at the national and international level, including assignments in Somaliland, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi.