Engineer from Noida brings over 10 lakes back to life
When anything goes wrong, blame the authorities.
But, that's not how Ramveer Tanwar of Dadha village, Greater Noida, thinks. Tanwar, in his attempt to save groundwater reserves, utilizes his after-work hours to save the lakes around the city.
Along with his team, he has revived more than 10 lakes in five years. Due to fund crunch, their focus for now is the smaller lakes.
Started with pocket-money, now approaching organizations for funds
According to Tanwar, "The revival of a lake takes anywhere between Rs. 2 to Rs. 25 lakh, depending on its size. I used to shell out money from my pocket. My friends who are active in the cause also contributed equally."
"But to become more financially sustainable, we have started approaching organizations to make use of their CSR activities," he added.
Tanwar experienced adverse effects of climate change in 2012
The lakes and wells he once dived into were disappearing.
"The lake that once had fresh, clean water, was now choking with garbage. It was covered in such filth that it was difficult to see the water beneath," Tanwar told The Better India.
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'It's a call for concern, I tried to answer it'
"The area had started stinking, and I also noticed that the biodiversity around the lake was diminishing. It was a call for concern, and I tried to answer it," Tanwar added.
He decided to start a campaign.
Tanwar, a Class 12 student then, used to teach younger students and started speaking to them about the condition of lakes and how to restore them.
Tanwar took the discussion on water conservation door-to-door
However, when they tried to explain to others about the situation, the children met with smirks, as no one believed that a little household garbage could destroy the water-body.
Tanwar then decided to talk about water conservation door-to-door.
Last year, he told Edex Live, "The bore well of 25 feet was dried up in a year, making the villagers dig further to 150 ft."
'These villagers had no understanding of what they were doing'
Tanwar added, "The villagers would let water overflow because they didn't imagine that water could, one day, disappear. Unlike the mafia or the construction contractors here, these villagers had no understanding of what they were doing. It was important that we picked up a conversation."
Noida DM noticed Tanwar's efforts and gave him a platform
Meanwhile, Tanwar and his students started gathering people and discussed the issue every Sunday at a chaupal (a commonplace).
The story of his hard work reached the ears of the then District Magistrate of Noida, NP Singh, who gave him a better platform to put out his ideas.
A 2-minute documentary, Jal chaupal, was made and shown at various theaters to raise awareness.
Tanwar started getting requests from other villages for lake cleaning
Later, two filters were built near the lake in Tanwar's village to stop domestic waste from entering the water body.
However, it took joint efforts of adults and children along with the man himself, and several months to clean the lake in Dadha.
And it was just a matter of time when he started getting requests from other villages to also clean their lakes.
Tanwar started a Facebook campaign, '#SelfieWithPond', got positive response
Later, Tanwar started a Facebook campaign, #SelfieWithPond and encouraged people to post pictures with pond or lakes around them, which would serve as an inspiration.
He told TBI, "We got a great response for the campaign, which I thought would be limited only to Noida or at the most, Uttar Pradesh. But we got photos from as far as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu."
Most asked questions
What is the name of the documentary made about the issue?
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