On the sidelines of the March 22, 2023, United Nation’s World Water Day commemoration, Dr. Rajendra Singh, referred to popularly as the “Water Man” of India, was hosted by Save Indian Farmers, a non-profit in the U.S., and the Gandhian Society in collaboration with Parikh Worldwide Media in Edison, New Jersey.
Dr. Singh also visited the offices of Parikh Worldwide Media, where he was felicitated, and gave an interview to PWM’s 24/7 television channel ITV Gold.
As part of the occasion, Mayor of Edison, N.J., Sam Joshi, issued a proclamation declaring March 23 as Rajendra Singh Day, in recognition of the Indian environmental activist’s lasting contributions to society. The proclamation was read out at the reception.
Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of PWM, who presented an award to Dr. Singh, spoke at the event praising the water conservation specialist for his commitment and hard work. Dr. Parikh also affirmed his own commitment to humanitarian and philanthropic work after he turned 60 years old. Currently, Dr. Parikh is 76 years old, and his goal is to empower the younger generation of Indians “to love Mother India,” as much as he did. Not only does PWM publish 4 newspapers, it also runs the 24/7 ITV Gold station which partners with Door Darshan India.
“That is all philanthropic work. It is my passion. And for the last 12 years I am running these at my own expense,” Dr. Parikh said. However, he emphasized, nothing compares to the philanthropic work Dr. Singh had been doing, and how he had met villagers and convinced them to bring about change. “And I saw the result. It was so impressive,” he said, and offered his support.
Dr. Singh, in his speech, talked about the world being in a water crisis, and how the World Water Day at the UN was spent discussing ways in which planet earth could “free from that.” The phenomenon of floods and droughts happening around the world, needed to be controlled. “If we don’t find ways to save ourselves from these then our planet earth and humanity, both will face grave danger,” Dr. Singh said. “We are here for this work.”
Bhadra Butala, founder of Gandhian Society, noted the “big function” being held in Edison to honor Dr. Singh. And he praised Dr. Parikh for presenting an award to Dr. Singh. The Gandhian Society does humanitarian work around the world, particularly to familiarize youth with Gandhian principles.
Tejoo Bambulkar, vice president of Save Indian Farmers which was started in Arkansas by a few friends, described how the board members went beyond just funding various organizations in India.
Dr. Hemant Joshi, founding member and secretary of Save Indian Farmers said that the organization has more than 80 volunteers, some 25 active program directors, and about 20 ongoing projects.
In an interview with ITV Gold, Dr. Rajendra Singh outlined the discussions at the UN, and how the water crisis had become worse over the years since WW Day was declared.
“Our planet is sick,” he said noting that when it rains, the water dissipated instead of being controlled, cutting through the land and rivers which flood towns and cities.
“We had begun Word Water Day so that the world would learn the importance of water. But it seems that where we were standing before … we have regressed. Where the world could have worked for our health and planet’s health, we have polluted our water … amrit became poison.”
He also contended that, “Ancient Indian knowledge about water has been lost. … We appear to have forgotten the relationship to water. Even the UN seems to have forgotten.”
Dr. Rajendra Singh, famous for his water conservation work, seen here being interviewed by ITV Gold host Nidhi Kathuria, at the Parikh Worldwide Media offices in Edison, N.J., during his recent visit to the U.S., on the sidelines of United Nations World Water Day which falls on March 22, 2023. Photo: videograb from ITV Gold video on YouTube
Dr. Singh gave an account of his own journey from working in the government to stepping out and working at the grassroots. “Go to the people who have lost everything.” He chose Alwar Jila to help people. There, when he was just 26 years old, he met an old man who inspired him to make the world his canvas.
Dr. Singh proceeded to educate himself about various environmental sciences and engineering. “And I never looked back, and have never felt despair,” he said, despite all odds including some 377 lawsuits which “were put against me whenever I worked to get water to the people.”. (Courtesy: ITV Gold)