Jagdish Chandra Kudiyal, fifty-five-year-old, a farmer and grocery shop owner from Kumaon’s Bageshwar district, revived a spring in his locality which had been lying dead for decades.
Inspired by the Chipko movement, he started planting saplings around the spring, which slowly recharged the groundwater table. After 20 years, the spring finally came to life and now helps locals irrigate their fields.
Recalling how it started, Kudiyal, who lives in Sirkot village of Bageshwar district’s Gardud block said that the idea first came to his mind when the village faced an acute water crisis and all he could see was dried-up springs.
What Was The Process For This Revival?
“At that moment, I remembered the Chipko movement in which people started saving trees as they were sources of water recharge, among other things. I went to the ‘gadera’ [water spring] – the only source of water for the nearby villages. You couldn’t see a drop of water in it. It was all dry, filled with leaves, stones,” Kudiyal said.
He then started plantation around the ‘gadera’. Initially, around 100 trees were planted, but as every success story starts with a failure, locals didn’t show any support.
Talking about the difficulties confronted at first, Kudiyal revealed Locals used to send their creatures to brush on little plants. They at times used to obliterate them for the sake of entertainment. However, he had effectively concluded that he was there to carry life to it.
How Did His Efforts Get Recognition?
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded his efforts in ‘Mann ki Baat’. “I was not expecting to hear my name,” Kudiyal told TOI.
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat took to Twitter to praise him too, “When stubbornness turns into passion, there are definitely meaningful results. Shri Jagdish Kudiyal Ji, the resident of the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand, has recharged the dry local water springs many years ago with his efforts to overcome not only the drinking water crisis but also the irrigation problems in villages,” the CM wrote.
“I employed workers to work in my tea fields and this is the manner by which I additionally got individuals to monitor my saplings. Also, we figured out how to transform them into trees. We at that point burrowed profound pits, after each a few meters that used to get topped off with water. At long last, the difficult work and persistence of 20 years took care of when the spring became animated,” he added.
“Villagers used to send their animals to graze on the smaller plants. They sometimes used to destroy them for fun. But, I had already decided that I was there to bring life to it,” Kudiyal added. He then started tea farming in his field which was also located near the spring.
Kudiyal said that the villagers later joined the movement when they saw his determination and results. His one son is a manager in an Indian overseas bank while the other is an Army officer, but he never left his village to lead a city life.
The water spring is now not only providing drinking water to 400 homes in villages but is also being used for irrigation. Bageshwar’s chief development officer DD Pant said the water conservation campaign from the plantation in Sirkot village is truly commendable.
Image Credit: Google Images
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