Within Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat area there are ten shops on the Dayalbagh road and two shops( one for sweets and another for general merchants) in each of the mohalla (residential colony). These shops are licensed to the vendor/shop keepers on yearly basis at a very low rent. The quality and cost of items being sold there are controlled by the Bazar Committee. Satsangi Social Welfare Society of Dayalbagh also runs a Fair Price Shop and a Medical Shop to provide medicines and house hold items at a price cheaper than the market price. There is a show room also where items, manufactured in Units of Satsang Welfare Society spreas all over the country, like cloth, ayurvedic medicines, baniyans, underwears, bags etc are not only exhibited but also sold.
In the beginning, agricultural operations on the large scale could not be taken up in Dayalbagh because of scarcity of water. Sahab Ji Maharaj, therefore, had built a lift canal about three miles long, in 1936. Which was later brick lines. The canal draws water from river Yamuna, under an agreement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Mehta Ji Maharaj, the sixth leader of Radhasoami faith, launched ‘Grow more food’ campaign as early as in 1942. Therefore, the resident of Dayalbagh started leveling uneven lands and clearing banjar(unproductive) lands to make it suitable for cultivation, Today, in Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat area, nearly 1250 acres of agricultural farms exist, where crops like cereals plulses, oil seeds, vegetables, fruits, cash crops(potato sugarcane, etc) and fodders are being cultivated. The silent feature of agriculture in Dayalbagh is the complete ownership of the farm by the Radhasoami Satsang Sabha and not by individuals Farming activities are eco-friendly and based on organic farming. Both traditional and modern agricultural practices are adopted here. Agriculture is supplemented by Gaushala wastes for meeting out its manual requirement. Cooperative efforts are made in performing different agricultural activities and no chemical substances like insecticides, fungicides, weedicides or chemical fertilizers are used.Fields around villages Sikandarpur, Khaspur and Bahadurpur are being utilized for intensive agriculture, as this areas falls in the flood plains. Presently the area covered under agriculture and farming activities is nearly 1531 acres. The agricultural produce of Dayalbagh is sufficient to meet the requirement of the resident of Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat and the pilgrims, who come for short visit to attend Bhadara (a religious festive). The entire agriculture at Dayalbagh is organic and helps in the soil conservation and its enrichment .
5.5.2 Horticulture In Dayalbagh Eco-village, especially the Central Zone, horticulture activities are being practices right from the inception of Dayalbagh. One of the main objectives of horticulture here was to improve ecology of the area and reduce the hostility of climatic conditions. Atmospheric quality was improved by making the surrounding fill of vegetation, which also provides pleasing and harmonious natural view by developing greenery. Gardens and lawns, existing here, create soothing effect on eyes and heart. The Horticulture Party ( A team of workers who are engaged with horticulture activites) was formed in August 1991, and was provided tools, machinery and materials required fro executing the scheme. Avenues of environment –friendly trees was raised along western boundary wall in Prem Nagar to reduced air, dust and accoustic pollution.
Tha Phalbagh area was developed by planting trees of mango, katahal(Artocerpus spp) Guava (Psidium) and various citrus species along with many other fruit trees to provide large chunk of canopy cover as well as source for fruit supply. Ornamental hedges along road sides were also raised to consolidate loose soil and provide colorful land scape.
The Dayalbagh has its own Gaushala which fulfils the milk requirement of the residents. The Gaushala has about 665 heads of cattle. This herd delivers enough milk to cater the requirement of the students and other residents residing in Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat Area. Gaushala is self sustained in meeting out fodder requirement round the year. Besides, the waste materials are recycled totally and are used in fields. Well decayed organic manures, obtained by cow dung and litters are used in agricultural fields to supplement the soil fertility.
Since it is a fundamental tenet of the Radhasoami Faith that one should live by one’s own earnings. When the colony was established, it was also necessary to have some source of livelihood. In 1918 a small industry, known as Model Industries, was established which soon started manufacturing a large range of products. In this industry, products like fountain pens, electric clocks and scientific instruments were made for the firt time in the country. Textiles and leather products were other important items being manufactures.
The object is, not to earn profit, but to make available these articles at low cost and to develop useful skills and ameliorate economic hardship.
5.6 Unique features: Ecological
Dayalbagh-an EcoVillage The township of Dayalbagh today represents a classic of self sustained eco-friendly existence of human settlement in close harmony with the nature. The basic philosophy here is that, you must return to the nature more than what you draw from it. In its more that 92 years of existence Dayalbagh has grown into a centre of high spiritual, academic and moral values and has provided solace, satisfaction, peace and enlightenment to its residents and pilgrims who come in thousands seeking inner and outer peace.
At the time when Dayalbagh Regulated Area Master Plan 1992 was being prepared, the existing land use was as follows:
Development Area: Residential 25.50 ha(30%); Industries 8.75 ha(10%); Commercial 0.60 ha (1%); Religious 5 ha (6%); Police Station, Post Office, Electricity and Hospitals 4.75 ha(5%); Educational Institutions 29 ha( 34%); Roads 12 ha (14%).
Non-Development Area: Gardens 10 ha (2%); Drains etc 8 ha (1%); Pasture land 28.75 ha (3%) Open Lads 14.75 ha (2%); Forest 52.40 ha (7%); and Agriculture 655.40 ha (85%).
TABLE Land use as proposed in Dayalbagh Regulated Area Master Plan 1992
Satsang and Bhandar
Transport and Vehicles
High Tension Line
Agriculture, green Belt and Forest
Total Regulated Area
5.6.2 Land Regeneration
From its inception the establishment of Dayalbagh was made in an area which was remote and wild for the obvious reason that it will have an environment for spiritual advancement. The land topography initially, was dominated by ravines, low mounds, patched of kankars and alkaline soil, sand dunes and patched of reeds and weeds, lying as waste-land(plate 4.1). Gradually, topography status of the proposed Dayalbagh Eco-village was changed by the inhabitants of Dayalbagh colony by community seva into well laid out, open green area and 1250 acres of farm as it stand today. The methods used to bring this about were eco-friendly. Machines were used where it was essential Rest of the clearing and leveling was done manually. The Colony provided a tranquil and green environment ideal for mediation and spiritual pursuits( plate 4.2).
Existing Land Use Pattern in the Proposed Area of Dayalbagh Eco-Village (DEV)
Provision for ‘ Green belt’ has been a major ecological thrust in the land-use planning at Dayalbagh, Green belt here mainly falls under three major categories: (1) Tree corridor running within 200 m wide strip all along Yamuna river bank, (2) Agricultural and farming areas, and (3) Areas marked for timber plantation. This is designed to improve atmospheric conditions, regulate microclimate, protect water reservoirs, restore degenerated ecosystems and increase biodiversity. Considering the semiarid habitat of Agra, the green belts around Dayalbagh effectively defend or reduce the intensity of sandstorms, besides improving the riparian ecosystem in this area. The multifunctional character of green belt and its role in harmonizing human development and nature is an asset of Dayalbagh and is a model worth emulating in other locations.
a) Ecology and Biodiversity in the Green belt
The Dayalbagh Eco-village falls in the semi-arid habitat and therefore, possesses high species diversity. River Yamuna provides an ideal riparian ecology for the enrichment of the ecosystem. This area houses the maximum diversity of flora and fauna found in the bio-geographical region.
b) Flora-The western part of Dayalbagh Eco-village has triangular patch of dense plantations reaching to the bank of river Yamuna. While most of the uneven land has been leveled and converted into well formed green fields, in some areas(for example the triangular patch mentioned above) the uneven land topography is still in existence. This area is being used for cultivating corps like Taramiras, growing trees like Amla, and some timber plantation. The trees are growing in huge number here. An orchard of citrus fruits is also maintained in this area. The tall tress of Prosopis and Acacia provide physical barrier against cyclones and sand storms. The area is continuing with its indigenous genetic species and supports high species biodiversity.Dayalbagh Eco-village is surrounded on its three sides by the river Yamuna which makes a complete ‘U’ turn in this area. With the flow of river, this region is continuously undergoing erosion of land. In order to minimize this damage, green buffer corridor of big trees and land holdings shrubs is essential all along the bank.
c)The Faunal Diversity-About 50 resident birds, including the high endangered Lesser Grey Hornbill and more than a lakhs migratory birds visit this area every year in winter and can be observed in the Yamuna catchments. Similarly, more than 40 species of butterflies. The presence of about 300 peacocks in this belt is a good bio-indicator of sustainable environment. The venomous snakes such as Cobra and Vipers, the monitor lizards and the fresh water hard-shell turtles, which fall in the Schedule 1 of the Wild Life protection Act, 1972, are a common sight.
A survey of indigenous medicinal herbs occurring naturally in Dayalbagh showed the existence of 68 species belonging to 38 families. These are being used to cure various ailments by the local people.
5.6.4 Water Conservation and Rain Water Harvesting
In Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat Area, water supply in residential and institutional areas is made via a centrally controlled network of underground pipes. Here water is drawn from several wells, which are uniformly distributed in the area. Present depth of water table in these wells ranges from 80 to 160 feet. Emphasis is laid on water conservation practices. The supply of water is limited to just 11/2 hours per day to residents. This amounts to the consumption of nearly 100 litre of water per person per day as per the norms of Bureau of Indian Standards.
Agriculture sector is considered to be the biggest consumer of the water. In Dayalbagh use of ground water for irrigation is limited to nearly 50% of the total irrigation. Rest of the demand is met by the natural rains and the water drawn from Yamuna river through a canal, under agreement with U.P.Govt. entered into in 1935. Water efficient fixtures of irrigation like sprinkle systems having small spray heads and drip irrigation area also in use at Dayalbagh.
Check Dams were constructed at Sikanderpur to avoid run off of surface water, which also leads to soil erosion. With the construction of these check dams this has been prevented, and the valleys in Sikanderpur now retain all rain water.
Sprinkler Irrigation, uses minimum water to maximum effect with no wastage, it has now been introduced on a fairly large scale, and now major crops will be irrigated by this method. Two large irrigation systems, with adequate sprinklers and pumps have been purchased which would cover the 70 acres land that has been reclaimed at Sikanderpur in 2004.
Rain Water Harvesting-Average annual rainfall at Dayalbagh is nearly 650 mm. Its conservation is equally important. Realizing its significance, in residential colonies within Dayalbagh Nagar Panchayat roof top rain water harvesting is being practiced. Rain water system has also been installed in buildings with large roof surface. Rainwater is collected from roof top of all the housed of a lane in horizontal collection pipe running all along the length. The water, thus collected is diverted to a recharge pit where it is filtered through layers of porous beds of sand and stone, and is ultimately dropped within soil layers at depth of 30 feet.
All residential houses in the Colony have been provided at the cost of R.S.Sabha, pour-flush latrines and a sewage system. Rural type pans have been used which require less water. Each house has a separate septic tank. The effluents of which are carried to a central tank, which is a separate for each mohalla. Sewage is trated by E.M.(Effective Micro-Organisms) technology. The traded effluent is then used for irrigation in nearby fields. The entire system of sewage management in Dayalbagh is self-sustained, eco-friendly, and puts no stress on the environment. The mohallas have their own sewage treatment systems instead of having only one for the whole colony.
5.6.6 Waste Treatment-Composting-Two types of composting practices have been in vogue called the anaerobic composting and the aerobic composting. In Dayalbagh domestic waste is mostly organic, and each member of population produces approximately 200 kg of organic solid wastes per year. Other sources include lawn mowing garden litter and wastes from dairy sheds etc. The residents segregate the wastes as biodegradable and non biodegradable materials in the respective segregated bins, from where it is collected and the pooled biodegradable wastes are directly sent to the composting sites while non biodegradable materials are sent to the recycling points.
5.6.7 Transport-The most popular mode of transport in the area is bicycles and cycle rickshaw, which do not require any external energy input. Efforts are required to put a restriction on the number of fossil fuel driven vehicles in this area not only for its sustainability but also to reduce the traffic as well as noise and air pollution. Within the Dayalbagh Colony, transport is provided by electrically driven vehicles and rickshaws.
5.6.8 Energy Conservation in Dayalbagh
One of the best ways to avoid energy shortage and effects of our current energy technologies on environment and health is simply to use less. Several measures have been introduced to achieve it.
Renewable Energy Sources-In some pockets of Dayalbagh, solar energy collection systems(i.e. solar panels) are also utilized. Energy, thus collected, is being used for street lighting and also to run small equipments. For cooking and other heat producing operation, the entire area rely heavily on the LPG cylinders. As the area has good number of cattle population, biogas derived from cattle waste and also from solid waste can play important role in supplementing the energy supply.Work has also been started on developing solar powered vehicle. The DEI has started a project on Bio-deisel based on Jetropha plants in degraded land.
Energy Conservation Measures taken in Dayalbagh
Recommended measures to save energy
The way it has been adopted in Dayalbagh
1.Drive less; Make fewer trips
All the places in Dayalbagh are at walking distance. People generally walk or use bicycles or cycle rickshaw for commuting.
2. Use ecofriendly and energy saving transportation mode
Bicycles and cycle rickshaw are widely being used. Two wheelers are not allowed special permission of SNC is required for keeping cars and their plying within the colony is not allowed for public transport electric vehicles operate.
3. Use public transport
For any mass movement of people, like for going to agricultural fields and returning from there, buses and trucks are being used.
4.Join a car/taxi pools, reduce speeds
Car/taxies on shard basis being used Speed limit within Dayalbagh is 15 km/h.
5.Houses should be better oriented to suit climatic condition. Use ecofriendly material for their construction
Houses are suitably oriented. Only low height single storeyed dwelling and some double story houses exist.
6.Reduce electricity usage by reducing the number of electricity based equipments
There exist a ceiling on the maximum allowed use of electricity per house, Air conditioners are not allowed, Fans and coolers remain mandatorily off from 15th October to 14 April. High electricity consumers pay extra as disincentive.
7.Use compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent bulbs
At most of the places compact fluorescent lamps(CFL) are being used.
8.Avoid large distance transportation of heavy commodities like food grains
The area is almost self reliant on food grains, which are grown locally.
9.Buy locally made long-lasting materials
Most of the items of daily need are being manufactured in Dayalbagh itself.
10.Use alternative sources of energy
Solar energy being used for street lighting at some places. Efforts are on for using biogas energy.
5.6.9 Sustaining Air Quality
At Dayalbagh, mostly residents commute on cycles. Two wheelers are, particularly, not allowed to drive in the colony. Battery operated vehicles are used as public transport. Use of diesel/petrol generators by residents is not allowed. LPG is used for cooking and for domestic purpose. Dayalbagh Educational Institute is well equipped with latest and sophisticated instruments for regular monitoring of the air pollutants, under the guidance of internationally known group of scientists. They have been measuring air pollutants in the area since 1990 and have suggested several remedial measures, which are implemented time to time. All these measures are intended to improve atmospheric quality of the area and have yielded dividends.
5.7 A sustainable spiritual community
Dayalbagh, a self-contained colony renowned for its serene environment and secular establishments, in which its inhabitants lead an active, disciplined and co-operative community life dedicated to service, conforming to the high spiritual ideals of their faith. Nestled between lush green fields, it provides an excellent ambience and setting to live which is in harmony with nature. This, along with a simple, disciplined and principled life, undoubtedly contributes to the strength of the social, moral and spiritual fiber of the community.
Some exerpts from the comments of some great personalities on Dayalbagh:
Former President R. Venkataraman in his address to Dayalbagh Residents on his visit, March 16, 1992...
"When one comes into this atmosphere one finds he is in a totally different climate and environment from the usual things he meets in ordinary life. There is a sanctity about this place. There is an educational atmosphere in this place. A research aroma surrounds all this place. And above all, a spirit of service and dedication permeates the whole. It is indeed fortunate that all of you have such as rare combination of all that is best in life for you."
“The basic idea in starting small cottage industry is to inculcate a Spirit of Co-operation for working together”
“Scientific inventions are being made day by day. There is no doubt that they take the world forward. Scientific inventions like Radios, T.V, Video etc are useful. There is nothing bad in the system, provided the way in which they are made use of is right.”
Param Guru Huzur Dr. Lal Sahab.
Epilogue Sustainability without Spirituality is like contradiction in terms. They go hand in hand. Living in a sustainable manner definitely helps in spiritual growth. It also explains why environment has been a religious issues since times immemorial (Even prehistoric)
Slowly the Development agencies and economists are also recognizing that Development is a process that encompasses both the spiritual and material aspects of life; that personal transformation has to go hand in hand with social change. All the problems of our times – Spiritual, Cultural, Social and economic are interdependent and interconnected. The New Development paradigm must therefore be holistic and consistent with the spiritual traditions of the people.
Science and religion are two sides of the same coin. Hence, sustainability – A scientific solution to the Global Warming issue is based on deep spiritual and religious experience. When Development is consistent with spiritual traditions we can talk about a Paradigm shift: from the perspective of our relationship to one another, to future generations and to the web of life of which we are merely a strand. And we will then be able to realize the concept of “Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of man” All the facts stated above leads me to believe that this “Global Warming” is an act of the Supreme Being to bring the whole world together, make them realize the power of the Creator “GOD” and understand the true meaning and intent of their life on earth.
Bibliography List of Books ,Publications and website addresses for reference:
Books, writings and publications of Dr.Anil K Rajvanshi,Director,Nimbkar Agricultural Reasearch Institute,Phaltan,Maharastra,India;http://nariphaltan.virtualava.net/nature.pdf,education.vsnl.com/spiritual.html;
Development:Spirituality and Sustainability-late Dr. Kamala Chowdhary,management expert,IIM,Ahmedabad,India;www.ignca.gov.in/nl-01207.htm;
Spirituality and Sustainability,Dara Molloy;www.aislingmagazine.com;