Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotva: In this episode, we are going to introduce you to some such patriots who are attached to the environment and who have an important contribution in the conservation of natural resources. We are going to tell you about such warriors, due to which not only nature is benefiting but all of them have proved to be ‘change makers’ for independent India.
In fact, according to a report released by NITI Aayog, 21 states of India are at risk of complete water shortage. It warned that 70% of the polluted water available in some cities could soon reach zero-day levels. Here are 5 water warriors who are the best at water management.
‘Water Man’ Rajendra Singh has said that drought is man-made. Rajendra Singh was born in Daula village of Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh. After resigning from the government job in 1984, he moved to a village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district to practice Ayurvedic medicine from where he did his studies.
Realising that the water problem is more important for the village than education and medicine, Rajendra Singh single-handedly dug the village pond. He worked hard for years and increased the area of the pond. Then suddenly the pond was filled with rain. Then the youth were organized and within a year the ponds were cut in 36 villages alone.
He went on pilgrimage from village to village and created awareness about rain water harvesting. He renovated 7 rivers in the state of Rajasthan. Water revolution has taken place in various states under his guidance. It is noteworthy that Rajendra Singh, popularly known as the ‘Water Man’, has received the ‘Stockholm Water Prize’, which is given to those who have excelled in water management globally.
He was born in Uttar Pradesh. She is known as the mother of water. She has been helping the people of the region after the 1998 drought in Rajasthan. There he formed a charitable organization named Aakar Charitable Trust, through which he has provided water facilities to the villages which are not getting water.
His charity has built 317 dams between 2006 and 2018. This will directly benefit 182 villagers of Rajasthan. It is noteworthy that this charitable organization is also bearing the cost of education of the people of Rajasthan.
Ayyappa Masaki, who hails from the state of Karnataka, is one such ‘Water Warrior’ who is also known as ‘Water Gandhi’. Masaki hails from Cuttack district of Karnataka. He said that half of the rain water in Karnataka goes into the sea. Later he tried to overcome the scarcity of water for the people with the methods of water harvesting he invented. In this they have also got success.
Ayyappa Masaki’s ‘Water Literacy Foundation’ is doing good work in fourteen states. It has executed work projects for water supply at more than 4500 locations across the country.
Abid Surti runs a one-man NGO called Drop Dead Foundation, which is saving tons of water by taking care of plumbing problems like leaks that cause water wastage in homes in Mumbai. Do it all for free with a team of 80-year-old volunteers and a plumber.
In 2007, the first year of the foundation’s existence, Abid visited 1666 houses on Mira Road. Fixed 414 leaking taps free of cost and saved around 4.14 lakh liters of water. His work has now inspired others across the country to take his example and help save water in their cities.
The ‘Malguzars’ were local zamindars in eastern Vidarbha about two centuries ago. He has built many tanks for water harvesting as well as provided water for irrigation. They built, owned and maintained these tanks before 1950, but after abolishing the zamindari system, the state government took ownership of the tanks and started collecting water tax from the tank users.
The Malguzars filed a case in the Supreme Court, after which over 1000 tanks were left unattended for years. It was until Shirish Apte, an executive engineer in the minor irrigation division of Bhandara district in Maharashtra, entered in 2008 and restored the first such tank in almost two years’ time. This recharged the groundwater table and increased agricultural production and fish production in the area. This eventually prompted the district administration to restore about 21 freight tanks at Bhandara.