The ‘Waterman of India’, Rajendra Singh, arrived in the city on Monday to drum up support for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The recipient of the Magsaysay Award said that he was supporting the AAP because it had taken up issues relating to rivers and their protection.River protection
“Decentralisation is key to protection of rivers. Water bodies should be decentralised and handed over to the local residents,” the water conservationist said at a press conference here. Back home in Rajasthan, Mr. Singh has to his credit of reviving seven dead rivers besides being instrumental in the construction of over 10,000 water sheds over a period of 30 years.
Speaking about rampant corruption in elections, he said political parties were resorting to bribing of voters to garner support. He pointed to the fact that the 50 per cent of the total poll-related money seized by the Election Commission from across the country was from Andhra Pradesh.‘Zero value’ currency notes
Mr. Singh also released the ‘zero value’ currency note designed by the AAP to protest against the distribution of money by the political parties. The note has the party message printed on it, warning people against falling easy prey to the luring tactics of politicians.
The AAP is distributing nearly 2 lakh such notes across Andhra Pradesh. The well-known water conservationist is visiting Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Guntur to garner support for the AAP. Mr. Singh, through his organisation Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS) in Rajasthan, has done pioneering work in community-based efforts in water harvesting and water management.
Mr. Singh is one of the members of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) under the Union Ministry of Environment set up in 2008 and in 2009, The Guardian named him amongst the list of “50 people who could save the planet”. AAP nominee for Vijayawada Parliament seat Harmohinder Sahani, city convener P. Rama Rao and others were also present.