Around twenty years ago, Ralegan siddhi practically had no trees, the topsoil had blown off, there was no agriculture and people were jobless. Anna Hazare, one of the India's most noted social activists, started his movement concentrating on trapping every drop of rain, which is basically a drought mitigation practise. So the villagers built check dams and tanks.
To conserve soil they planted trees. From 80 acres of irrigated area two decades ago, Ralegan Sisshi has a massive area of 1300 acres under irrigation.