Man Who Dedicated His Life To Water Harvesting & Dreamt Of A Water-Sufficient India
Very few people on this planet have the propensity to pledge their life for the betterment of the society. And even though pages turn down the history these people are always remembered for their work. Today, we reminisce the work of one such person who selflessly devoted his life in working out ways for water conservation and environmental development.
Anupam Mishra, a name that highlights history and is known for the efforts to build efficient rain water harvesting techniques through ponds. The Chipko movement that was initiated in the 1970’s inspired Mishra to take up a life-long commitment in reviving the traditional techniques of rain water harvesting.
Mishra initiated his journey by travelling to every corner of India that witnessed water scarcity. While in Rajasthan, he assimilated the traditional system of water harvesting and was convinced by the benefits it would give to the other water scarce states. Stating down his experience throughout those villages he says,“The society has defied all the adverse conditions in matter of water, to live and find the traditions of life and have done diverse efforts at different places to let the mirage fail.”
Mishra has also founded the Gandhi Peace Foundation, a centre that welcomed Gandhian ideas and supported them. He patronised the decentralised water storage systems like baolis (step wells), kuis (wells with small diameters), chaals (small water body along a slope) and johads (tanks that are fed by earthen check dams) that can help communities withstand drought.
An experience that could feel the problem of the drought villages and an initiative that could help reduce it, a 120-page-book written by Mishra explains it all. The book named ‘Aaj Bhi Khare Hai Talaab’ is an appraisal for the agencies to institute systems for the betterment of the villages.
Mishra is also the recipient for the Jamnalal Bajaj Award and Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (an award presented by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in 1996) as he deserves to be remembered for his selfless help to the society.
Water resources are scarce and limiting our actions towards reserving it is a help for the nation. After December 19, 2016, Mishra was no more a part of this universe but what he left behind was an aspiration for the nation to not neglect the water scarcity problems.