Waterman of India – A film on the work and life of Dr Rajendra Singh

The Waterman of India is a detailed account of Dr Rajendra Singh works of Tarun Bharat Sangh, who transformed water conversation structures across Rajasthan.

Here is the story of a man who brought 1000 villages together to execute his vision of reviving the barren lands of Rajasthan. The Waterman of India is a detailed account of Mr. Rajendra Singh’s works and the contributions of Tarun Bharat Sangh, who have transformed the water conversation structures across the arid deserts of Rajasthan.

A few decades ago, the conditions in certain parts of Rajasthan were pitiable and drought-like.  The underground water-levels were extremely low, and there was no accessible drinking water. Women had to walk for 8-9 hours to collect water which forced many families to migrate.

Rajendra Singh came to Alwar village as a practicing Ayurvedic healer but found the village’s deep-rooted healthcare problems related to the inaccessibility of water. To solve this problem, Rajendra asked the villagers to help create a sustainable and efficient rainwater harvesting system.

At first, the villagers were apprehensive about this strange man, but slowly and gradually started to trust him. He congregated people from 1000 villages and created more than 11,000 water bodies that have transformed the entire ecosystem of this land.

The water levels have risen to an accessible level, perennially dried rivers have been revived, and agriculture has become a sustainable occupation. The abundance of water and good food reserves has drastically improved people’s lifestyles and has made them happier.

It was a thrilling and life-altering experience to document this entire project and to witness what sheer willpower and communal unity can do. Every person that we encountered had in some way or the other contributed to this initiative or was deeply affected by it.

By observing TBS’s works so closely, we have learned the intricacy and significance of the groundwater system and how it is paramount to protect it. We got a closer look at how water conservation is established and its in-depth importance in community survival.

As eye-opening as this experience was, we also encountered some thrilling and nerve-wracking incidents. The water conservation system had agitated the entire Mining Mafia in the state, which became a major hurdle for the project. They started harassing the villagers and inflicted life-threatening attacks on them. In one instance, Rajendra Singh was so badly injured that he was in a coma for 20 days!

But the villagers were not intimidated by these attacks. They fought against the mining mafia by filling a PIL to close mining in forest areas and eventually succeeded in it. Their petition influenced the closure of 470 mining sites in Sariska Tiger Reserve, which was a significant blow to the Mining Mafia.

Rajendra Singh’s efforts were acknowledged by national as well as international institutes and received numerous accolades. But the most prestigious of them is the Stockholm Water Prize, the highest award in water conservation and protection.

We are very proud of this film which has received many critical acclaims and has been screened in film festivals viz. Ankur Film Festival 2019, The Lift-off Sessions 2019, Prakriti Film Festival 2019, KVIFF 2019, & Woodpecker International Film Festival 2019.

We wish Rajendra Singh and the entire team of Tarun Bharat Sangh good luck and hope that they become an inspiration for the world to conserve and protect water.

 

 

Director: Ankur Didwania

Executive Producer: Ruchika Kedia

Assistant Director: Divy Bhagia

Chief DOP: Hardutt Trivedi

Second Unit DOP: Vashisth Trivedi, Divy Bhagia

Camera Assistant: Aakash

Scriptwriter: Ruchika Kedia

Music Production: Darshan Kataria

Flute: Hemant Dhamne

Editor: Divy Bhagia, Ankur Didwania

Motion Graphics: Nikunj Panchal

Subject Expert: Madhu Menon

Special Thanks: Santosh Sharma (Team of Tarun Bharat Sangh)