Rajendra Singh, The Waterman of India: “There are a number of ways to save water and they all start with you”. Rajendra Singh, an eminent water conservationist from Alwar Rajasthan best fits this quote. Rajendra Singh is that individual who successfully revived 5 rivers in Rajasthan. He has even brought water back to over 1000 villages and is called the waterman of India. He has totally given his knowledge and his job for conserving water in the state. To date, he is working to save water bring back water to those areas which have been dried years back. After working hard for water conservation he received a lot of national and international awards.
He even started an NGO TBS (Tarun Bharat Sangh ) in 1975 which aims to work for saving water by many techniques for water conservation. It takes steps for water management in the semi-arid areas close to the desert. This NGO is supported by the United States. The techniques which Rajendra Singh brought in use for water conservation are Johads the rainwater storage tanks, check dams and other path breakers.
Since 1985, he started working and to date, he built over 8600 Johads to collect rainwater in 1000 villages. Waterman of India Rajendra Singh has been successful in reviving 5 dried rivers of Rajasthan. Avari, Sarsa, Jahajwali, Bhangani, and Ruparel. The government of India in 2008 honored the Waterman of Rajasthan.
He was added to the list of those 50 people who can save the planet. Rajasthan has mostly been under drought and how to revive dried river is a matter of concern.
Rajendra Singh in the year 1986 started his first padayatra to teach the villagers about water conservation. He first built a johad at the source of the Arvari dried river. Along with him, villagers built a tine earth dam and johads. When the number of dams reached 375 the 60 years dried river came back to life and started flowing. From here Waterman of India Rajendra Singh started the chapter of water conservation in Rajasthan.
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He has won the Stockholm water prize the Nobel Prize for water. Rajendra Singh even received the Raman Magsaysay award. Rajendra Singh is the real superhero who is unknown to the countrymen. He spends 8 months of a year on road to work for the country. The waterman of India has changed the lives of thousands of farmers. He has dedicated his knowledge and his life to defeat drought and bring back water to dried rivers. In his 20 years of career, he has built 8600 johads and is continuing to revive the drier areas.
Rajendra Singh has an opinion that no one can ignore.
In his words ” Every project should be reviewed after a span of 20 years “. This is because of the fact that the dams that are constructed over time start to have a deeper impact than what could be thought of. Continuous monitoring of the impacts can help in tackling problems.
One such dam is the Farakka dam. The dam is situated in Rajasthan and has been into operation from the past 43 years. However, the benefits of the dam are still not clear and the loss that has been incurred due to damn onto ecological and environment are ignored.
The big dams that are constructed over have always been an issue of concern. These dams have an adverse effect on natural river flow and also are a weapon of mass destruction says, Arundhati Roy. It would be much wiser to switch to smaller and medium scale damns.
This is not really development,” Says Rajendra Singh .“These dams are damned,” he quips.
A scheme by Atal Bihari Vajpayee sounds apt for linking every river of the country with each other. The scheme was however turned down. Since independence, the land under drought has increased 10 times while the land under floods has also grown up to 8 times. This raises an issue of concern that something regarding the policy needs to be changed. The government should think of the possible reason behind this significant increase. What do you say?