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Ayyappa Masagi: The water doctor of India
"If you only talk, nothing will happen. You have to do something and prove it," says Ayyappa Masagi who has set examples on how to fight with water crisis for not only individuals but for authorities as well.

The alarming condition of drought in the country is well known now. The nation is going through one of the toughest times in the history and the situation is so worse that, some parts in the region are relying on its neighboring state for even a single drop of water.

When around 330 million people are in trouble because of water scarcity following the failure of the last two monsoons, here comes a man whose one-of-its-kind model can keep the drought at bay forever. Widely known as a 'water doctor', this is the inspirational story of Ayyappa Masagi.

Ayyappa has a very simple message- "You want water? Call me!" Thousands of people have already taken his aid and his phone barely stops ringing.

"I faced a lot of water problems in my childhood," he said. "I used to go at 3 am to fetch water from the stream. So I made an oath that when I grow up I would find a solution. So I quit my job as a mechanical engineer in 2002 to solve India's water problem," Ayyappa told BBC.

According to Ayyappa, one year's rainwater can sustain the nation for three years. And even if 30 per cent of India's rainwater was captured and stored, the enduring destructive water crisis would not have taken place. In fact, it would have saved reservoirs from getting dried, and farmers from committing suicide because of drought.

An unique effort to fight water crisis:

Ayyappa, in a drought-prone area of Andhra Pradesh (nearly 110 km northeast of Bangalore) bought 84 acres of barren land near Chilamathur, two years back. He says, the wind here was like a fire wind. However, he took a pledge in front of his parents that within a year, he will make this land a water bowl.

Today, a system of 25,000 sand-filled pits along with 4 new lakes seizes and stores every drop of rainwater that falls here. The implementation is so well that not a single drop of water gets wasted or is permitted to flow into rivers or to the sea. The water stays on and in the ground forever, and keeps the subsoil charged with the life saving element. When needed, it can be drawn out with the help of five shallow bore-wells.

The long-standing effect: 

The topsoil from digging out the lakes has helped level the land. Subsequently, trees and crops have been planted. Presently, while around 60 per cent of the trees will form a dense forest, 40 per cent will be fruit trees to bring income. Notably, grains and vegetables too have been planted, and by the next year there will be a dairy as well.

The long-time strategy is to make this place a sustainable organic farm, entirely self-sufficient for all its water necessity.

Ayyappa, through his Water Literacy Foundation, is training 'water warriors' to extend his message to a large number of people. So far, he has already written seven books. Moreover, he has trained over 100 interns from India and abroad, including Japan, Germany and the US.

"If you only talk, nothing will happen. You have to do something and prove it. Governments are coming forward to take up my service, to replicate my model. Once the community attitude changes, our political attitudes change, we can replicate this concept throughout the world."

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