Meet 19-YO Water ‘Manjhi’: Babita Rajput Cuts A Mountain To Solve Water Crises In Village, Revives 70 Acre Lake

By Akarshi Srivastava | 3 min read

Babita Rajput

You all must be familiar with the life story of ‘Manjhi’, the mountain man who cut apart a mountain for the love of his wife. Well, he is a real-life hero and an ideal for love today. Similar is the story of this wonder woman, 19-year-old Babita Rajput, who made a path out of the mountain to ensure a trouble-free life for all the people of her village. Have a close look at her story to see how this teenage girl left all the muscle men behind!

Who is Babita Rajput?

Babita Rajput - Chhatarpur
Source : Wikimedia

19-year-old Babita Rajput is a resident of Agrotha village in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in arts from a small college in her nearby village, as her family does not have enough money to send her to the big cities for quality education. However, Babita Rajput is living proof that financial restrictions cannot bend your creativity and zeal in life. Currently, she is famous throughout the country as the new-age ‘water warrior’.

Water scarcity in Bundelkhand

Bundelkhand is famous for drought and perennial water stress. As per the reports, it rained only twice in Bundelkhand in 2020. For years, the residents of this village suffered from water scarcity and there was no one to help them out. They had access to a 70-acre lake in the vicinity but the depressing part was that the water body was mostly empty. The little rain water the village received was drained off from one side of the hill and mixed with the already polluted ‘Bachheri River’.

Babita Rajput
Source : Wikimedia

Being a village with ancient traditions and practices, the females had the responsibility of getting enough water for the whole family. So, the females had to walk long distances to fetch water in extremely hot weather. Babita Rajput saw the opportunity of reviving that old pond and she decided to end this problem for everybody.

The need to become ‘Water Warrior’

Babita Rajput, also known as the ‘Water Warrior’ dug a 12-foot-wide and 107-meter-long trench to cut the hill and make way for the rainwater to change course. She started out on this mission by herself, but more than 100 women from the village soon joined her. As people witnessed the impact of her initiative, support for her cause grew. They worked together throughout the sweltering summer because they had to finish the task before the monsoon season started.

Just like every movie has a gripping climax, Babita Rajput’s journey was no walk in the park; it was filled with numerous challenges. Let’s take a closer look at the hurdles she encountered.

Challenges in Babita Rajput’s journey

A big challenge faced by Babita Rajput was land encroachment. Some farmers had started using the empty areas of the lake to farm for extra benefits. Whatever the limited water resource was available, they used it for farming. If the lake were to be revived, it would limit their use of the land for personal gain. Consequently, they opposed Babita Rajput and her vision for potential development in this regard.

Babita Rajput
Source : Wikimedia

Another major problem was that the lake and the area of the hill that Babita Rajput was going to dig along with her ladies came under the Forest Department and it was difficult to explain the reason for the needed development as no one from the Panchayat was in support of it.

Undeterred by the challenge, Babita embraced it with the motto “Mai kar skti hu” (I can do it). Determined to pursue her mission, she successfully conveyed the necessity of reviving the lake and obtained written permission from the forest department.

After 18 months of relentless effort and hard work, Babita’s initiative received well-deserved appreciation from everyone. The 19-year-old not only shouldered the task but led the movement with honesty and bravery. Today, she stands as a living example of the phrase, “Mushkil nahi kuch bhi agar than lijiye!” (Nothing is difficult if you’re determined!).

Mad4India salutes her bravery and the courage to take up the task of digging a mountain to ensure a peaceful life for 1,400 villagers in the drought-affected region of Bundelkhand.

For copyright purposes, links of the feature image – Wikimedia, Pexels

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is called as the Water Man of India?

Rajendra Singh is a conservationist who is known as the ‘Waterman’ of India.

Who is a Water Warrior?

Water warrior is someone who is water conscious and takes steps to save water.

Who is Babita Rajput?

Babita Rajput is a young water warrior from Bundelkhand who took an initiative to revive a pond at 18 years of age.

If you loved reading this awakening story of the new age water warrior, Babita Rajput, then do read – This Vijay Diwas, Know How ‘Sam Bahadur’ Defeated Pakistan To Make The Biggest Surrender In The World!

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