The Winds of Change are whistling through the corridors of the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR) – happily threatening to turn this staid, typical ministry into a vortex of new ideas, unconventional solutions and win-win partnerships.

All it took was a mild mannered, smiley-faced man who sometimes sounds more like a satsang guru (sermon priest) than a bureaucrat. The Jt. Secretary of the MOWR – Shri. RM Mishra – has been slowly but steadily opening up the doors of the ministry to positive minded community groups working on water issues.  For the past two years, I have seen the ‘public’ being invited for seminars, workshops, intensive meetings – not just to sit and clap but also to share their ideas and action agendas. Of course, I’m sure, the other senior bureaucrats in the ministry and also the past and present Minister of WR are equally to be thanked for this change – I just hope they keep up this drive.

The 16th of July ’09, I think, was a watershed in this journey. A Meeting without a name, without a pre-defined agenda, was held in the ministry.

  • The invitees – roughly 30 practitioners of water conserving community movements from different parts of the country
  • The broad objective – to create a forum for free interchange of ideas, email-ids, phone numbers and support groups.

The invitees included:

  • Religious groups that used religion to create mass movements to protect rivers and make water bodies
  • Poets and intellectuals
  • Youth groups
  • Media and web professionals
  • Unconventional water cleansing technology providers
  • Activists, and of course
  • FORCE!

What makes this a historic meeting is the fact that a government ministry created this forum for

  • Completely unrestrained expression,
  • Auto-evolving agenda, and
  • With an objective of creating an ever expanding river of water conservationists working in harmony with each other in their own unique ways.

The spread & power of the government coupled with the passion of the crusader – can change be far behind??

Some credit for these winds of change must go to FORCE as well. Not only hasFORCE been a partner of the ministry in helping create the public interface, but we also pioneered the JAL RAKSHAK movement (a forum of community leaders working for the cause of water conservation).

Incidentally, the Jt. Secy. Mr RM Mishra – is a Special JAL RAKSHAK too!

May the tribe of JAL RAKSHAKs increase! Here’s your chance to jump on to this juggernaut – register yourself as a JAL RAKSHAK and be a part of the Great Indian Water Turn-Around!

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