Jal Bhagirathi, India
Rajendra Singh is the Chairman of Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), a voluntary organization started in 1974 and working in rural areas of Rajasthan to develop self-reliance in water management and natural resource development.
Since 1985, under his dynamic leadership, Tarun Bharat Sangh is working for restoring life and hope to barren land of Rajasthan. He has been honoured by Asia’s most prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 2001, for Community Leadership . Popularly known as the “Waterman of India”, Rajendra Singh is also heading a national network of organizations working on water issues; Rashtriya Jal Biradari. This network is working for restoration of all mighty and small rivers of the country.
Rajendra Singh, during his thirty years of work with local communities, has been instrumental in transforming the parched river systems of this part of Rajasthan into green areas of well-being and productivity by harnessing the traditional wisdom and using the latent structures of community in over 8000 villages there. Rajendra’s work has resulted in increased ground water levels, increased agricultural and milk production and has empowered poor communities, especially women. In turn this has ensured food security and restored the area’s ecology, sequestering carbon, increasing bio-diversity and strengthening resilience in the face of climate change.
He has also initiated several activities in association with the Indian Government. During the last few years, the State Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka have sent their forest and watershed officials as well as community and Panchyat Raj (Local government) representatives to Rajendra Singh for orientation on community based watershed development efforts. He has authored several books.