Volunteering for Tarun Bharat Sangh

Seventy percent of the earth is covered with water but hardly a drop to drink. One of the most important resources available on our planet earth is becoming scarce. In spite of all this, we hardly show any concern towards water conservation. Where in today’s world people mostly in cities can be termed as careless water users but we have this one man who has given almost 30 years of his life and has brought water back to regions which have been dry for years. Man who sacrificed his secure government job and decided to serve people for the rest of hs life runs a non-governmental organization, Tarun Bharat Sangh who has build johads, check dams and many other traditional methods that turned out to be one of the most successful methods in reviving 5 major rivers of Rajasthan which has brought water back to over 1000 villages. Not only water he has also worked on other major issues like women empowerment, sustainable development and has taken measures towards forest protection by filing a PIL for the ban of illegal mining that continued for a long time. If this was less well then he has been an international water hero for quite some time now, winner of Magsaysay award and recently winning the Stockholm prize for his contribution to water conservation.

It was my first meeting with him and I realised how conveniently we lay on the couch in front of television and blame our political system for everything that happens in our country but he has a rosy outlook for majority of the things, the the reason being that people like him are the ones who are actually working out there at the ground level and enjoying a sense of contentment by serving others. Sitting on his favourite chair and a book in his hand, while taking the first sip of his morning tea the bearded man with the reposeful face says the country would progress more if we criticise less and find alternatives to help the fellow citizens who are in need. Hats off to water warriors like him and his entire team who chose to serve a noble cause. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of TBS as a volunteer and get the first-hand experience as to how things work here. Some of the works done by TBS can be seen below-:

 

DSCN0642.jpgThis is the agriculture farming which is taking place in the village where TBS has worked efficiently. The area had hardly any rainfall this year and monsoon was late still they have managed to conserve water for this year. Green chillies and coriander are grown here.

 

DSCN0655.JPGThis is the anicut, one of the major works done by TBS. It helps in preventing the conservation of rain water. The water is blocked due to anicut and slowly it turns into ground water. Anicut not only conserve water for farmers for future use but also makes the soil fertile and provide water living organisms present deep inside the soil.

 

DSCN0658.JPG A small well sort of a thing which has holes inside that are blocked with stones. During rainfall when the water overflows in this, they remove the stones so that he water goes into the agricultural land.

 

DSCN0673Famous johad, another great structure built by TBS. It stores collected during rainy season so that it can be used for animal or human consumption throughout the year. It is made up of anything from dirt and stone to concrete.

 

DSCN0675They say a French lady waited for hours to capture sunbathing buffalos and, unfortunately, had to return but when I visited I was lucky enough to click them.

 

DSCN0693.JPGThis the present project was taken up by TBS. TBS believes in the concept of self-reliance. Where villagers on their own come together as laborers in order to complete the task. Currently, they are working on the construction of Anicut for their agriculture field.

 

DSCN0700.JPGThey all have come together in order to conserve water and make it sustainable to protect their fields.One of the major reasons behind the success of TBS is that they have involved locals and acted as facilitators and provided them with funds in order to make structures all across villages for water conservation. The concept of self-reliance pretty much worked in their favour.

 

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It’s great to see how villagers have shown blind faith on TBS and vice versa and that’s the reason they have come so far with whatever they have achieved today. Things do not stop here the village is much more advanced compared to other villages. Hardly any houses that are badly constructed and children both girls and boys are going to schools and some are involved in higher education. I met so many women who are working and engaged in some kind of work other than household to get an extra income for the house. Apart from water conservation, the villagers are involved in environment conservation as well. In addition, to this, they have been really efficient in coping with social stigmas usually common in remote areas.

After speaking to few more villagers I exactly now know the reasons behind his heroic image and the love they hold for their waterman. Rajendra Singh Ji’s work is exactly implemented the same way it is shown in books and newspapers. Once you see it through your eyes you will definitely believe in the amount of hard work and efforts he has put in. My experience with TBS was great and once I leave from here I definitely have a different approach towards the water. It’s not just a water which we use daily negligently it’s the most important resource which is depleting day by day. Farmers who should have access to water the most are the ones who suffer due to water crises. It’s high time we realize that 60% of India’s population is involved in agriculture that provides food to the whole nation. If they lack water it will somewhere be affecting us indirectly. The government should take measures in order to combat farmer’s suicide and I strongly feel that just like LPG water should be provided to farmers as a subsidized resource. Also, there should be proper water laws that impose a penalty in case of its breach.

I was here for 6 days and my stay was very comfortable and peaceful surrounded by nature. It’s a home away from home but the only difference is you don’t miss your home and once you’re here you will surely suffer from withdrawal symptoms the moment you leave this place. I can’t wait to visit this place again. lastly here are some pictures taken during my stay at the ashram.

 

Review : A bird in a banyan tree by Bina ramani

imagesUnlike other readers I was not expecting too many pages on jassica lal case. I was looking forward to an inside story of bina ramani’s life which is beautifully expressed in the book. Right from her family coming to Bombay as refugees after the partition, moving to Delhi for higher education, her affair with shammi kapoor then shifting to London and moving to US after marriage which really didn’t work,her emphatic writing style has turned the book into a literary piece.
As you turn down the pages you will find big names mentioned in the book that have played a significant role in her life. Though the book is kind of slow in places but I loved the way she has expressed her attraction with the ocean and sea waves and the reason for the title
‘A bird in a banyan tree’.
Bina ramani who has worked with Taj group been a socialite, restaurant owner, fashion designer, social worker, apart from all this she has a darker side to it. Born and brought up in a rich and happy family she still had to struggle to achieve her dreams. After giving up on what she actually wanted to do many times , it took her many years to stand up for herself against her family with such hardbound mentality. Also I saw jassica lal murder case through a different angle and how negatively she has been portrayed in the movie ‘no one killed Jessica’. Author crosses every hurdle that comes her way and how these obstacles have shaped her are mentioned in some of the the last chapters of the book. All in all a good book indeed.

The ‘greatest’

This is basically a review of books that are my all time favourite. Soul of a butterfly and the greatest by Muhammad Ali.
Nobody has inspired me more than M Ali in my entire life. Where People of my age are unaware of this boxing legend he continues to be my hero. After reading these books for almost 25 times i just can’t get it enough. Not just a boxer but man who stood up against racism. There are various things that I have learnt from M Ali.
*To stand for what you belief.

*Biggest education is not what is taught in school or colleges it’s something what you want to learn and it can be only done by observing those people who are good at it.

* learn to love yourself and believe that you are the GREATEST

*Take criticism positively in order to shine,like the brightest star.

* How to destroy the superiority complex and should always be aware of ground realities of earth no matter who you are what you were and what you will be.

*wether you do something or you don’t people will still criticise you you just have to perform your duty given by the god

*real champion is not the one who wins every fight but the one who gets up in-spite all his defeats.

*lastly my fav quote “don’t quit suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Soul of a butterfly and the greatest are one of the books that acts as a bridge between M Ali and all his fans. I am one of his fans from india and seriously they are my favourite possessions. I so wish I could travel back in time during 60’s and 70’s when there was no soccer and cricket and M Ali was all over on radios and newspapers. No matter how many years go down the drain you will still be the greatest for me.
Who inspire you ?

Science of spirituality

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Ever wondered what all human mind can achieve, well lets ponder!!! We usually think that god possess supernatural power which humans don’t, but have we ever wondered why such an idea even came to human mind, let’s think. Human imagination creates things which they have perceived or felt in the past. Is it possible for humans to have ever perceived gods? For instance the idea of UFO is not just an imagined concept but is claimed to be seen by many across the globe in a similar fashion. With that came the idea of aliens and then as human mind could get enough of it we have so many sci-fi movies flooding the market but that is not my point .So is it possible that our ancestors actually saw or felt god in any way? , well I’m not saying that they did I’m only questioning the same.

Now what are the characteristics of god? Studying gods worldwide, I can come to one conclusion that they all have supernatural powers. So is it possible that anybody with supernatural powers was made a god. Well we all have heard about Lord Krishna resting Govardhan Parvat on his little finger and saving the Braj people, and even that he was born human and died so. Is it possible that Lord Krishna was just a human with supernatural powers? Well there still exist saints who can claim to do supernatural. There are instances when such saints are walking over water or teleport themselves to a new place, or that they can know about their previous incarnation and all these saints are also born humans.  Which means that maybe our ancestors made such people with supernatural power gods? But why would they even come up with the idea of some humans possessing inhumanly power. Maybe they saw them practicing such powers, after all human imagination also needs some ground to start nurturing on .So that means such capabilities exist and humans can achieve them. But what did these saints do that we humans normally do not. We all know that they do practice meditation which trains their brain and maybe help them harness the limits of human mind.

It is said that the only human who could use 20% of his brain power was Einstein, the greatest scientist of our century. If he could talk about Mass changing to Matter with only 20% of his grey matter ,it is not hard to believe that saints who spent their entire life training their mind  can walk on water. Even the reflexes of martial art experts are so fast that human eyes cannot keep up with them; they also begin with meditation as a first step to their training. Meditation is basically training one’s mind and adding mental strength to it. What if you, me could also train our brains, could we also achieve the unachievable. Well that is possible after all we are talking about the power of human mind.

In the end nobody is really questioning the existence of god or is skeptical about their supernatural powers. It was just a thought which resulted in contemplation on many things mentioned above. So we can finally settle various questions by concluding that human mind has the potential to reach to the level which is beyond one’s imagination and I think that’s how the idea of landing on to the moon came into existence. Past experiences of some great people have actually shown us on how to believe in one’s own capabilities and try to achieve something which is beyond reach making every bit of it possible. But did we get answers to all the questions? Nah some things are better left unsaid or else it is hard to believe.