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Bastar map. Image source: http://www.wikimedia.org

Bastar is a district in Chattisgarh. In recent times, it has been associated with political conflict, arising from lack of development. The district boasts of immense natural resources.

What strikes one are the luxuriant forests that stretch for miles and miles from any one point. The adivasis who have inhabited the region for centuries have evolved a way of life, a culture that worships nature, preserves it for the present generation of course, but really speaking for posterity.

As a child, growing up in these surroundings, Virendra Singh would often revel

Chitrakoot waterfalls across river Indravati. Image source: http://www.explore-chattisgarh.blogspot.com

in the joy of nature. The respect he developed for nature manifested in his contribution towards it.

” Chhattisgarh is a rice-producing state and the paddy crop from which it is derived is dependent heavily on water sources.”

Not only has he started a campaign of saving traditional water sources, he has taught school children also, to care for our environment.

For material like posters, paints and brushes, Virender contributes from his salary. But local people chip in with food and other items and in that sense; it has become a community initiative. Virender is glad that he has found a job as a Communication Officer in a private company, Godavari River Ispat Ltd which pays him a princely sum of Rs.5000/ and allows him that luxury.

Virender Singh was chosen from amongst 146 nominations in the country for the ‘Dainik Jal Star Award’ this year. It is evident that to make a change in the society, all one needs is the will to do. Read more here.