Dhuman Singh Kirmach
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” – Mark Twain
Being Indians, it is our duty and responsibility to honor and respect our culture and ancient history.
A silent hero – Dhumam Singh Kirmach
Dhuman Singh Kirmach –as a young boy, born in the village Kirmach, went through normal school and college like a normal youth of India. Completed his LLB and then LLM. He practiced Law and came in contact with plenty of legal issues and laws which needed revision. He realised that getting legal help in our country is not an easy task for those who cannot afford high fees, so he and his friends would often provide legal help for very low fees.
Dhuman Singh was born in a farmer’s family. He used to experience the water issues affecting the crops every year. He was the first to install water pipelines in his fields to try dealing with wastage of water and resolving the water scarcity crisis. There were many who thought he was over ambitious with his ideas, but he was always eager to find solutions. He is a true example of pure determination and grit and proved that even if you belong to a simple background, yet, if you decide to take responsibility to solve a problem, without waiting and blaming others, it is possible
Founder of NEER- Mr Dhuman Singh Kirmach
He then made a group of lawyers and like-minded people and formed an organisation called NEER-
Founder of NEER- Mr Dhuman Singh Kirmach, never realised then, that a small initiative started to help people around, would someday lead him to being part of the changed face of Haryana tourism, History and culture.
NEER (Natural Ecology & Environmental Responsibility)
Organisation is a Non-Governmental Non-profit social institution which works for conservation, proper management, and sanitation of water resources. Dhuman Singh and his team work fundamentally in the field of rain water harvesting and recharging of ground water for which recharging pits were dug at village and ward level. Their field of work spans Haryana, Punjab, northern Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh – identified as areas having extremely high scarcity of water resources.
The NEER team used various formats to promote their work.
Door To Door Awareness
Their volunteers would go door to door personally and spread awareness about the water conservation and coming water crisis and how to conserve water.
They organise programmes and awareness seminars in schools, colleges, panchayats and wards from time to time. Students are the future of our country and moulding them at a young age is a huge advantage. They organised slogan writing competitions on water conservation in various districts of Haryana. About 980282 students from Kurukshetra,18282 students from Karnal, 28421 students of Yamunanagar and 58615 from Kaithal participated in this competition.
Impact By NEER At Grass Root Level
Taking a step further they had organised seminars at state level also for farmers from all over Haryana and Punjab participated in the seminar.
Since it’s well-known that trees help in managing rainwater and improves ground water. So, under the aegis of NEER organisation, a tree plantation program was started in 2014 through which about one lakh saplings were planted in all over Haryana. Organisation is also spreading awareness about Jal Kranti Abhiyan launched by the union government which aims at turning one water scarred village in each district of the country into water surplus village water through a holistic and integrated approach by adopting conservation and water management techniques.
They took up cleaning of ponds and sacred pools to attract more tourists and devotees alike and also maintain our religious heritage. Brahma Sarowar, a holy pool, is 1800 feet in length, 1400 feet wide and 2500 feet deep was taken up for this project. Since water in sarowar is static, algae start blooming in the pond. So, to clean Brahma Sarovar a cleanliness campaign was started and most of it was cleaned manually.
Gram panchayats are a part of the 3 tier structure of the Indian government. So, they organised a seminar in which the Panch, sarpanch, members of zila parishad got the information about water scarcity and learnt techniques which they can apply in their area to save and conserve water.
The volunteers of NEER also participated in cleaning the Sarasvati river on various points. All these activities done under this foundation were completely covered by donations and no support was taken from government funds.
As they say, “Waking up in India is like waking up to life itself.”
Dhuman Singh wanted to wake Indians up to realise that we are losing our heritage if we don’t hold onto it now.
And that was when Dhuman Singh got more involved with larger government projects to get the required attention to the problem. The complete focus shifted to reviving the Sarasvati river.
Research and excavation reports came up with proof to show that the Sarasvati River existed as a perineal river on the plains of north western India. It is mentioned in the Rig Vedas.
Epics such as Mahabharat described Sarasvati as the diminishing river which flowed between 7000 BC and 2500 BC. The Harappan Civilization was established along this river between 3800 BC and 1900 BC. The collapse of this civilization is directly connected to the scarcity of water in the Sarasvati flow.
Later, during the Mahabharata period, the Kurukshetra region was chosen for the war because of its proximity to the Sarasvati river. There is hardly any mention of this most ancient and pious river in most history books in spite of being the host to most of our heritage civilizations. This neglect saddened Dhuman Singh deeply and he took it upon himself to revive the presence of this perennial river and bring it to life.
He took this project up on a war front and pushed all possible government lobbies and departments to initiate various Sarasvati river revival initiatives. He was rightfully given the charge as The Deputy Chairman of The Haryana Sarasvati Heritage Development Board.
Under his guidance and supervision many projects were launched and he was always on ground, with the team to inspect each plan. He said that there has been a big challenge before the government to revive the water stream of the oldest and sacred Sarasvati river in the country. Research and excavations proved that 1,600 years old remains have been discovered over an area of two acres in the Yamunanagar in Haryana. The Heritage Development Board said that more than 30 coins, bricks, pottery, and remains of a statue have been found, along with a possible fort and temple. Various geology dept teams are part of this project.
Dhuman Singh examined the river bathing ghat which was discovered by him and the priests of shrines in Pehowa and Kurukshetra. This place would be developed as a major tourist spot. A detailed description is found in the Vamana purana about the confluence of three streams- Aruna, Varuna, Sarasvati.
Many religious ponds like the Brahma Sarowar visited by devotees from all over India were taken up for cleaning projects and converted into better tourist spots.
Aarti is now being conducted at the Sarasvati shrine which is attracting huge crowds. Beautification of the complete promenade has started which is going to bring in good revenue to that region with increase in tourism.
As per his suggestions, the Haryana government plans to spend ₹14 crore on the beautification of Sarasvati Channel in Kurukshetra.
Tremendous efforts have been going on a war footing to reach their target launch dates under the leadership of Dhuman Singh to bring the holy river Sarasvati to the ground. Under this project, a dam will be built at the Sarasvati Ascension site. Below this, Sarasvati Sarovar will be constructed on 400 acres infertile land of 3 villages including village Rampur.
He informed that 25 bridges have been constructed by the Board in the last 3 years and work has been done on more than 20 pilgrimage sites at the banks of river Sarasvati. He said the board would rejuvenate a nearly 500-year-old “baori”, known as Bhai Lakhi Rai Vanjara’s Baori, at Ishargarh village in Kurukshetra and develop it as a tourist destination. The place would also be linked with NH-44 as it is just about 200m from the national highway. The Sarasvati River front is being designed. This sangam area will also be beautified.
Haryana school syllabus and National syllabus is also being revised on the behest of Dhuman Singh and now the history and heritage values of the Sarasvati river will be included from 6th to 12th in schools. Research projects will be encouraged in colleges and Universities. Sarasvati river flows through Himachal, Gujrat and Rajasthan. All States have been requested to add this topic in their syllabus. The children and youth of India should know more about Sarasvati Nadi and its values, especially since it has been flowing over 5000 years and most of our history is based around it.
Dhuman Singh says that it is very important to save the rivers today, if we don’t then they will become obsolete.
They organised regular seminars and conclaves to discuss various issues connected to water problems and conservation. Especially on World Earth Day, where Panch, sarpanch, members of zila parishad got the information about water scarcity and learnt techniques which they can apply in their area to save and conserve water.
World Water day, a tree plantation drive was carried out in various dharamshalas.
From the above-mentioned efforts, NEER undertook different campaigns in villages and cities to educate people about the near consequences of water degradation and its scarcity.
Various awards for their efforts and initiatives kept flowing in. The Neer Foundation was nominated for the National Water Award by the Ministry of Water Resources River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
“India has many customs and rituals that may seem bizarre to anyone not used to its distinctive culture. It is a strange combination of being a young nation as well as an ancient country.” – Hanadi Falki
Team NomadLawyer salutes and recognises the contribution made by Dhumam Singh Kirmach.
We need more silent warriors like Dhuman Singh Kirmach to protect and conserve our heritage and culture and bring about a change in India, especially for the coming generations.
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