Standing at a phase where water scarcity stares at us in the eye, every act in the direction of water conservation becomes a prominent deed. In an era of welfare addiction, every selfless deed deserves utmost respect. On that note, it’s a matter of pride with which we introduce to you, Prithviraj Jain, a 29-year old resident (as of July 2017) of Moodubidre, a beautiful town in Dakshina Kannada district.
Though Dakshina Kannada has never really undergone very severe water scarcity issues, it is a place well known for its unbearable heat, and has also made it into the list of drought-affected areas this year. In a time like that, Prithviraj Jain has accomplished a deed that has brought him into the limelight in the area alongside arousing hopes of local residents with respect to water conservation.
The Transition From Commerce To Agriculture
Prithviraj has a background in MBA and has worked for a commerce-based company before he gave up his job and set foot into agriculture. That’s right, as surprising as it may sound, here is an MBA graduate pursuing agriculture as his mainstream profession. It so happened that Prithivaraj required to make some investments into water sources owing to the dwindling water quantities in existing sources. Digging out a bore well or extracting ground water in any other form is a common solution to water scarcity, but Prithviraj apparently took a different route, through which he has helped not just himself but the entire town of Moodubidre.
An age old lake expanding upto 1.5 acres was an asset of Moodubidre for decades. But Prithviraj says,
“There was no development activity carried out around the lake since the past 65 years. Applying my commercial, scientific and agricultural experience, I thought that it would be best to replenish this lake in order to store ample water for agriculture, as well as contribute to increase of ground water levels. However, my approach to government authorities with this proposal seemed to yield no result. That’s when I took it upon myself to accomplish this mammoth task!”
Replenishing The Lake In Spite Of A Million Odds
It took a total of 24 days and a budget of 3.5 lakhs to replenish the lake, both of them provided by Prithviraj himself, without any external aid. He hired earth movers and translocated the vast quantity of sand and mud that had accumulated on the lake, which prevented water storage.
Prithviraj shares that there were a number of ordeals that came his way like having to convince the residents of the area to cooperate, having to stop work for around a week owing to unpredicted rains and consequential slippery nature of the mud, financial pressures and even people’s claims that this man is probably out of his wits!
Regardless, the task that he took up has now been accomplished beyond his own expectations and Prithviraj is naturally proud of it.
The lake now stands replenished and ready to store more than 8 feet deep water in a space expanding over 1.5 acres. Prithviraj and a number of nearby residents can extract water from the lake after this monsoons for agriculture, and the lake shall also help other wells in the area fill in faster.
Help Is Appreciated, But Not The Wait
The solution to water scarcity opted by Prithviraj was expensive, time and effort consuming; but has ensured that there shall be no more paucity in the area for years to come.
After all has been done, the government has now promised to build a retaining wall for the replenished lake. However, Prithviraj says that he does not like to depend on anyone, and shall work in this direction on his own if need be, to the extent that it is possible without wasting time in waiting for others to take the necessary steps.
To add to the accomplishment of this, Prithviraj joined hands with an existing organisation named ‘Namma Mane Namma Mara’ and has planted 37 plants around the border of the lake. Prithviraj himself shall take care of the saplings until they grow strong enough to sustain themselves. In a year, we can see all the efforts yield beautiful fruits and form an independent ecosystem around the lake; hence helping people and nature as well.
Jack Of All Trades, But The Master Of Agriculture
Prithviraj Jain is a dynamic personality who loves social service as much as agriculture. To add to it, he is a passionate photographer who is also a professional in aerial photography, as he was one of the first people in Coastal Karnataka to introduce drones in photography.
However, his heart lies in agriculture, and he shares,
“Young and educated people must turn to this field. There are ample opportunities to excel here, and comes along with the thrill of experimenting and leading an exciting non-monotonous life. Agriculture is as good as any other form of profession, if not better!”
Avinash Kamath, one of the pioneers of ‘Namma Mane Namma Mara’ calls Prithviraj an unsung hero, who has silently made an impact that is beyond most of our calibre. “It is rare to see young people of his age accomplish deeds of social service of this sort”, he adds.
We commend Prithviraj Jain for the extent he chose to go to in order to make a social impact. An act of this scale is considerably a huge challenge for a single individual, but this young man made it all happen against all odds. His life so far is an inspiration for youngsters (and others!) to consider agriculture and social service with a news lens. We hope he continues to make such heart-warming impacts and inspire more people by setting up a beautiful example of what it means to indulge in your labour of love!
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