23-Feb-2016: Delivering his address in the inaugural function of the summit, the water-man of India, Mr Rajendra Singh, who is a Stockholm Water Prize (also known as the Nobel Prize for water) winner in 2015, said that the 21st century has new challenges.
He pointed out that people over the world and particularly in many African and Asian countries are forced to migrate because of the climatic changes and scarcity of water.
Mr Singh said that India too has a forced migration problem as many villages have dried up. "At the same time, ordinary villagers are fighting to raise water levels in various villages of Rajasthan and other states to stop forced migration," he said.
He added that as many as 1200 villages in Rajasthan dried up in the last decade but their inhabitants fought the nature to bring the water level back to normal in their unique ways of saving and storing rainwater.
"However, people living in urban areas have yet to learn from the efforts of these ordinary villagers," said Mr Singh adding that as soon as the water levels were raised in Rajasthan villages, the big Cola companies wanted to use this water for industrial purposes, but the villagers never allowed them to misuse their water.
Mr Singh said that for more than three decades, he has been working with Rajathan villagers focusing on the revival of Johads (concave structure which collects and store water), streams and rivers in the area.
"And with the successful implementation of the efforts of these villagers and with the total dedication of all the team members, today more than 4,500 working Johads dot Alwar and surrounding districts in Rajasthan," said Mr Singh adding that today River Ruparel, that went dead, has stared flowing again after the span of three decades.
"Even the Arvari River basin, which was once barren became a water source," he pointed.
He also said that these villagers understand the importance of water conservation more than the people living in big cities.
Pointing out to the problems faced by ecologists in India, the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) said there is still poor irrigation system in many places and the waste water recycling is not properly done.
He further said that many rivers are also been used for garbage disposal and burning of fossil fuels is leading to depredation of our forest areas.
"However, AMU will make an example in the years to come as we have plans of turning AMU into a green-university," said the Vice Chancellor adding that AMU will soon have a eco-farm and proper system to harness solar energy.
He urged the University Eco Club to educate people particularly the residents of AMU's five adopted villages on ecological sustainability. He added that all students should plant trees.
The Vice Chancellor concluded his address by congratulating the University Eco Club for organizing the congregation.
While welcoming the guests to the summit, Professor F S Sheerani, Coordinator CEC said that the University Eco Club has been conducting programmes to sensitize students and employees of the University for protecting the Earth from human generated environmental pollutants and other ecological challenges.
AMU alumnus, Dr Anshuman stated that more than 70 percent of the deadly diseases including cancer are because of environmental hazards and it is high time to take positive steps for having a healthy eco-system.
While presenting the annual report of University Eco Club, Dr Fatima Khan said, "we do not inherit this earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from future generations.'
Mr Mohd Hamza and Mr Sabir Ahmad of the 'Engineering and Environmental Solutions' said that after passing out their engineering courses from AMU, they decided to work for environmental friendly engineering solutions.
The duo added that they started 'Engineering and Environmental Solutions' for providing effective and energy efficient solutions for infrastructure development and improvement and for controlling pollution.
Dr Mehwish Khan said that we have enough resources to control general pollution, but we need to be responsible citizens to take steps for ecological sustainability.
Dr Arshad Husain conducted the programme, while Dr F R Gauhar proposed the vote of thanks.
Related PicturesWater man Rajendra Singh and VC Lt. Gen. Shah at the Eco Summit 2016
Water man Rajendra Singh and VC Lt. Gen. Shah at the Eco Summit 2016 .JPG-