This Indian officer used the lockdown time restore a river and generate hundreds of jobs
Many daily wage earners in India were rendered jobless due to lockdown and movement restriction because of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. They had no other option but to move back to their villages, mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
On the other hand, Kalyani river, a small river in Uttar Pradesh that was once the source of irrigation for farmers, had dried up from silt accumulation. Last year, the district administration had initiated the plan to clean the river but due to lack of manpower, it was halted.
During the lockdown period, IAS officer Dr Adarsh Singh decided to make the most of the situation and decided to employ the jobless daily wage earners to complete this river project.
“Lockdown was, in a way, a boon in disguise for us. We had to stop in February due to movement restrictions. When we learnt about the plight of daily wage earners and how their livelihoods were in danger, we thought of employing them to solve the two problems,” said IAS Singh.
What separates this project from rest of the river cleanups is the excitement to work. This project came as a ray of hope for several villagers who were struggling. Another reason was that if the river was rejuvenated, then it would ultimately benefit them. This project aims at conserving water and recharging the groundwater.