Keeping in view, urgency of enlightening the community and making efforts at the grassroot level in order to meet the growing need of water demand, Raman Kant initiated his work towards water conservation in the year 2004. As such, he formed NEER Foundation with an objective of creating awareness on various issues related to water involving the community in finding various solutions for sustainable future. With a contribution of about 120 articles published in the hindi national dailies, magazines etc., Raman Kant has a wide range of experience with a deep understanding of various issues concerning water across the country.
As the Founder Director of NEER Foundation it is the belief of Raman Kant that environment problems can only be addressed adequately if local people are involved in decision making at all levels and have control over resources. Lead by him, NEER Foundation acts as an independent, not-for-profit making voluntary organisation working towards environment protection and managementp by means of water conservation and rural development. NEER Foundation is involved in research, campaigns, grassroot level practical work and advocacy on issues related to environment and human rights. As a public interest organisation, NEER Foundation has focused on strengthening of the community through their active participation to achieve sustainable development. NEER Foundation has the distinction of bringing out the first detailed census of natural water resources structupres entitled “Talabo ki Stithi”. The 35 pages study report has earned wide appreciation by the National and international organisations like CEEW and others. As such, it will be highly beneficial for the country. NEER Foundation has also constructed a number of natural water resources structures like ponds (tanks), JOHADs and wells in the villages in Meerut district with active participation of community. The unique work for water conservation undertaken by the community by offering shramdaan (manual labour) has earned national popularity. The organisation for the first time since independence gave a call to the community to clean the 5000 years old historical Gandhari Talaab in Parikshatgarh, some 20 kilometres from Meerut. It was at the behest of Raman Kant that the Students came forward to offer shramdaan alongwith the farming community and traders of Parikshatgarh so as to clean the pond by de-silting it.
Raman Kant also has the distinction of establishing the country’s first Rural Rain Centre in village Poothi at Meerut with the active support of the local leaders. The Rural Rain Centre is a water literacy spreading centre with an exhibition which portrays basic issues concerning water with the support of colorful panels. It also has a small library with books, cassettes, CDs and video films on water. School children, farmers, engineers and various civil society groups pay visit to the Rural Rain Centre regularly. The Rural Rain Centre has a live model of Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting so that the community gets sensitised on the important issue of water conservation. The Rural Rain Centre has been visited by the former Union Minister and Member of Planning Commission Mr. Sompal Shastri, Peasants’ leader Ch. Rakesh Tikait and many scientists. Meerut Development Authority (MDA), UP Avas evam Vikas Parishad, Minor Irrigation Department, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), State Ground Water Board (SGWB) of UP, UP Jal Nigam and other departments have been sending their engineers to visit the Rural Rain Centre which is the first of its kind in Northern India. Raman Kant and his associates have taken the torch of water conservation to more than one lakh people in the urban and rural areas of western U.P. It is just because of his efforts that the district plan of Meerut enhanced their water conservation priority particularly in rural areas based on the census of NEER Foundation. According to Raman Kant ”I would like to see the day when people at least in my region have access to pure drinking water”. He further adds that “We would strive to bring back the lost image of water scarce and contaminated drinking water region to water sufficient and pure drinking water area”.
Affiliation: Raman Kant (NEER Foundation)
My current research explores the interaction of the cultural-religious, the political-economic and the ecological dimensions of the Godavari River in Nashik city in Maharashtra. Broadly, investigating how the multiple perspectives of a natural resource overlap, contradict, challenge and support each other, thus shaping the urban landscape and producing socio-spatial inequalities.
Apart from this, associated with the ‘Reconnecting with Godavari’ which is a public forum working towards increasing public participation within the riverscape governance.
List of Publications:
Dahake, S. 2018. Taming Godavari River: Navigating through Religious, Developmental and Environmental Narratives. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wat2.1297
Dahake, S. 2018. Epidemic of Urban Floods: Politics, Development and Ecology. Economic and Political Weekly, 53:7, pp 23-26. http://www.epw.in/journal/2018/7/commentary/epidemic-urban-floods.html?0=ip_login_no_cache%3Dbfa0834c6d94b7d1de277843bc43be77
Dahake, S. 2017. Godavari: Worshiped, Destroyed & Forgotten River of Nashik. Blog post on South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. https://sandrp.in/2017/12/24/godavari-worshiped-destroyed-forgotten-river-of-nashik/
Dahake, S. 2016. Nashik: From Kumbh city to Smart city. Featured on web portal of AHRC and ICHR funded Utopian Cities Project. https://utopiancities.wordpress.com/cities-2/nashik/
Affiliation: Doctoral Candidate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IISER Mohali and public forum of ‘Reconnecting with Godavari’ in Nashik
Brief Profile: Retired superintending engineer, Water Resources Department, Government of Rajasthan, obtained M.E. (Water Use management) from the then University of Roorkee securing first position in order of Merit (1986)
Brief Profile: Have been working on issues related to rivers, displacement, and dispossession due to infrastructural interventions in river basins, for close to ten years.
Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Patna
Brief Profile: I have been involved in:
1) river basin studies,
2) watershed based development,
3) alternatives to large dams,
4) water conflicts,
5) sand mining from river beds,
6) hydro power and climate change, etc. My involvement is in research, activism and policy advocacy, networking, etc.
List of Publications:
1) Alternative Futures: India Unshackled (Kothari, Ashish and K. J. Joy (Ed.),
2) Water Conflicts in Northeast India (Joy, K. J., Partha J. Das, Gorky Chakraborty, Chandan Mahanta, Suhas Paranjape, Shruti Vispute (Ed.),
3) Integrated Water Management of the Mahanadi Basin: Water Resources, Water Allocation and Inter-Sectoral Use (Abraham Samuel, K.J. Joy and Sarita Bhagat),
4) Water Allocations and Use in the Mahanadi River Basin: A Study of the Agricultural and Industrial Sectors (Craig Dsouza, Abraham Samuel, Sarita Bhagat and K.J. Joy),
5) Re-politicising water governance: exploring water re-allocations in terms of justice (Joy, K. J., Seema Kulkarni, Dik Roth, Margreet Zwarteveen),
6) Poverty, livelihoods and the conservation of nature in biodiversity hotspots around the world (Bouma, Jetske, K. J. Joy, Maronel Steyn), in Nature’s Wealth: The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Poverty (eds.), Pieter J. H. Van Beukering et al,
7) Beyond the Rhetoric of Integrated Water Resources Management: The Case of the Tungabhadra Sub-basin (Nesheim, Ingrid, K. J. Joy, K. V. Raju, Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, S. Manasi, Suhas Paranjape),
8) Water Use: Legal and Institutional Framework (Joy, K. J. and Suhas Paranjape, in Water and the Laws in India, Ramaswamy Iyer (ed.),
9) Water Conflicts in India: A Million Revolts in the Making (Joy, K. J., Biksham Gujja, Suhas Paranjape, Vindo Goud, Shruti Vispute (Ed),
10) Community-based Natural Resource Management: Issues and Cases from South Asia (Menon, Ajit, Praveen Singh, Esha Shah, Suhas Sharachchandra lele, Suhas Paranjape and K. J. Joy),
11) Women and Water: Relationships, issues and Experiences (Joy, K. J. and Suhas Paranjape in Women in India Post: Colonial Period, Bharati Ray (ed.),
12) Watershed Based Development: A Source Book (Paranjape, Suhas, K. J. Joy, Terry Machado, Ajaykumar Varma and S. Swaminathan),
13) Sustainable Technology: Making the Sardar Sarovar Project Viable — A Comprehensive Proposal to Modify the Project for Greater Equity and Ecological Sustainability (Paranjape, Suhas and K. J. Joy)
1) Society for Promoting Partiictibe Ecosystem Mangment (SOPPECOM),
2) Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India
Individuals within the organisation: Neha Bhadbhade, Sarita Bhagat