These local changemakers from Rajasthan are making sweeping transformations

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Change begins with one step. And there are some who dare to take not just one but millions of steps to bring a revolution. And today we are talking about those changemakers who are bringing about amazing transformation with their efforts in Rajasthan. Read along.

 

Rajasthan is known for many things. Ranging from its historic forts and palaces, art forms, block prints to gotas, temples, tourism, and changemakers. .. Inspiring, revolutionary, go-getters, Rajasthan is brimming with changemakers in various fields. And much to our pride, these local changemakers with their grit and determination are bringing about transformation not only at the grassroots level but also in the global landscape.


1. Dr. Rajendra Singh

The ‘Waterman of India’, water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh is the winner of the Stockholm Water Prize 2015 (known as the Nobel Prize for Water). In addition to that, he has also been honoured by the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2001 for Community leadership. He also has to his name the Jamnalal Bajaj Award (2005).


Dr Singh heads Rashtriya Jal Biradari; a network of organisations that work on water issues. Under his NGO, Tarun Bhagat Singh, his efforts in restoration of rivers (small and mighty) of the country are laudable. According to The Guardian (in 2008), he is one of the ‘50 people who could save the planet’ and we really believe that.


2. Aruna Roy

The Renowned Right To Information aka RTI Act? Well, it came into being because of the spirited efforts of Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey. So did the Right to Work and Right to Food. Together they run the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS); which is the ‘Workers and Peasants Strength Union’; along with others. In 1975, Roy left her cushy IAS (Indian Administrative Service) job to work with the rural poor in Rajasthan.


Aruna Roy (Image credit: Flickr)


Throughout her career, she has supported various causes. She is known to bring about change with her relentlessness and tenacity. She also serves as the president of National Federation of Indian Women. She has also authored, The RTI Story: Power to the People, along with MKSS collective. Aruna is a true inspiration.


3. Payal Jangid

Born in Hinsla district of Rajasthan, Payal Jangid is a young force that is working towards abolition of child marriages and child labour in Rajasthan. At the age of 11, she prevented her own marriage when her family forced her to quit school and get married. She even prevented her sister’s marriage. She became part of KSCF’s Bal Mitra Gram™, and has been working towards making her village and other districts in Rajasthan child marriage free.


She is a true changemaker, who with her efforts, has set an example and continues to be an inspiration for millions of girls in Rajasthan. In 2019, Jangid became the youngest changemaker globally to have the Changemaker Award at Belinda and Bill Gates’ Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards to her name. She continues to work for children’s rights and has made us all very proud.


4. Vishnu Lamba

Fondly called the Treeman of India, a moniker given to him by the former president Pranab Mukherjee, Vishnu Lamba is an eco-warrior whose efforts for reforestation in Rajasthan have caught the global eye. Born in the Lamba village, Tonk district near Jaipur; Vishnu helms an NGO called Shree Kalptaru Sansthan, that undertakes plantation drives and tackles the issues of climate change and pollution. Lamba’s NGO vows to make 100 villages of India environmentally sustainable Kalp Grams, and some of them have already become ideal villages (Adarsh Grams).


Vishnu Lamba, the Treeman of India (Image credit: Vishnu Lamba Facebook)


He also works towards the welfare of the animals, has introduced green weddings (where Kanyadaan has replaced dowry with saplings), and also generated employment in a pandemic-struck world. There are many causes he works towards and is determined to make the planet better for everyone, one sapling at a time.


These are just to name a few. Changemakers like Shyam Sunder Jyani, Pramod Karan Sethi, Nikhil Dey and many more are also bringing about a positive change in Rajasthan and we wish them more power and laud their efforts.


 

Edited by Aparna Chandrashekhar

 

Some resources and links to help you learn more on these changemakers -


Heroes Of Swachh India: Defying All Odds Dr. Rajendra Singh, The Waterman Of India Is Reviving Water Bodies Using Traditional Conservation Methods


Excerpt: The RTI Story; Power to the People by Aruna Roy with the MKSS Collective