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Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal: The man who cleaned up Punjab's 160-km long Kali Bein river
The historic river bed of Kali Bein, the 160-km long tributary of the Beas River which flows through Punjab is abundant with life and is a delight to watch. But it wasn't the same some years back, as the river was once filled with dirt and scraps.

Balbir Singh

But then, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal who is popularly known as 'Eco-Baba' took the responsibility of cleaning the river. He along with large number of volunteers started cleaning Kali Bein in the year 2000. The river was struck with severe domestic and industrial pollution and was on the verge of dying.

Now, as the water flow has restored, thousands of hectares of land has been reclaimed from water-logging in nearby districts. With this restoration all the water problems in Doaba area of Punjab have been resolved.

Reportedly, the central government has also approached Sant Balbir for implementation of the Seechewal Model in the cleaning of river Ganga.

Sant Balbir not only cleaned the river and rejuvenated some parts, which had been dry for many years, but he and his team also worked in beautification of the river banks. They even made sure that the people around the area were made aware of the ill effects of dumping waste in the river.

Dumping in river

With the help of Punjab Government Sant Balbir devised an underground sewerage system model, which is a low-cost indigenous model to store sewage waters in ponds and treat it in a natural way for usage in agriculture and irrigation. Around 50 nearby villages will be benefited with this model.

Eco-Baba's works have been widely praised across India and abroad. Not only the environment, Sant Seechewal has worked for society as well trying to eradicate poverty, ignorance, superstition, atrocities against women.

He has also established schools, technical centres and degree colleges at different places for the under-privileged kids.

Many national and international organizations have honoured him for his achievements in different fields of environmental up gradation and public welfare. Internationally renowned magazine 'Time' has acclaimed Sant Balbir as "Hero of Environment". He is the only Indian and only Asian to get this honour.

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