The Water Warrior: Ayyappa Masagi harvesting every drop of water to save India

. by Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

The Water Warrior: Ayyappa Masagi harvesting every drop of water to save India
By Nikesh Thapaliya

He was almost boycotted by his family members when he took his first steps towards shaping his dream. Genuinely, choosing his dream by putting a high paying job aside was certainly the most challenging decision he ever made in his life. Even after he accepted the courage of working for water conservation with his organization ‘Water Literacy Foundation’, it became further difficult to convince the general people and also he had to make every single investment of his own in the beginning. May be solely due to all these difficulties and the courage used by Ayyappa Masagi to overcome them, today his organization ‘Water Literacy Foundation’ has been enjoying its success and national as well as International acclaims.
Water Literacy Foundation

Water Literacy Foundation (WLF) is a powerful team of Water Warriors training more and more Water Warriors to conserve water for the present and the future generations. They strive to address water scarcity faced by the rural brethren, urban and Industrial sectors. It was founded in the year 2005. At first, Masagi was a one-man-army conducting awareness programs and rallies in rural areas and thus convincing farmers of solutions for water scarcity and thus assuring crop yield even during droughts.
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Vision and Motto

Discussion with residents

Moreover, WLF’s vision is to make India a Water Efficient Nation by 2020 and their motto is “Let us make our planet Water self sufficient and Greener”.

Knowledge Spreading Speech at a farm

The Team
WLF has some active, creative and innovative people in its team. Besides Ayyappa Masagi, the team includes Mr. Balachandr Jabshetti as the Programs Officer, Mr. Balakrishna Raj as the Project Guide & Technical Writer, Mrs. Sujatha as the Senior Project Manager and Mr. Praveenkumar as the Office Manager. Similarly, Advisory Board consists of  Ashok. Kadarmandalagi,  J. Ashok Kumar, Prasannakumar and Jacob.

Patta Bunding Implementation in farmland

Challenges and Overcoming them
When asked about the challenges faced by ‘Water Literacy Foundation’ at present, Masagi replies, “We still have challenges in fund raising capacity despite of powerful and highly professional execution team. We believe in no government support but community support that can make wonders.” He also says that government has played very important role in helping WLF grow to this extent. Nazeersab Rural Development, NABARD Bank and some ‘Zilla Panchayats’ funded him during the early days of his struggle with the organization. They motivated WLF to conduct training programs, awareness campaigns, rallies on behalf of the government. Besides, Masagi wants to thank Oxfam India, Swiss AID, Karnataka Pollution Control Board, and Rallies India and hundreds of farmers for their every kind of help as well as economic support. At present, Corporates are funding the organization and its plans & projects.

Borewell Static Level measurement

The Current Task & Future Plans
At present, the dynamic team of ‘Water Literacy Foundation’ is preparing for the Project Report on Carbon Offset and Water Conservation in 3 villages in India. WLF Team wants to train more and more people like warriors who can conserve water. They are also training the communities, local NGOs, group of farmers, etc. to reach masses. Their idea is to spread their knowledge to more and more people all over globe.

Borewell Recharging

WLF is also looking for Investment Partners who can help the team members in launching their Dream Product and bring the corporate professionalism culture into WLF to grow in the way IT & ITES companies are growing. They are also training their internal employees to obtain Fellowship offered by various donor agencies and corporates that motivate them.

Dead borewell yielding water out of the borewell

Ashoka’s Recognition and Support
Ashoka- Innovators for the Public Foundation recognized Ayyappa Masagi’s works and awarded him with Ashoka Fellowship. In fact, it was them who motivated him to launch WLF in order to upscale the work and reach wide horizons. Ashoka also helped Masagi, his organization and projects in many other ways. Thus, WLF Team will always be very grateful to Ashoka- Innovators for the Public Foundation.

Soak Trench for rural fields

WLF’s Success, as interpreted in one sentence
“Despite of many untold challenges, we have grown to such a stage that we have left our footprints in 9 states of India, executed projects in 4600 locations, recharged 90 thousands of borewells and  thus impacting about 6 million people,” as interpreted by Masagi, about the success of his organization WLF.

Sump Type Borewell Recharging Unit Under Construction

What He has to say to the Youth…
As a great social entrepreneur, Ashoka fellow and inspirational figure, Masagi wants to give a special message to the youth who will be reading this article on the Asian Edition of ‘Youth Leader’ Magazine. These are all what he has to say, in his own words, exclusively on here:
“Youth, you are very special because you are PRESENT generation. You can make or break your country. The motto of this era has been “Earn Money”; Earn money, I am not against it. I wish all the best to you all to earn as much as you can, but at the same time, spare some time for the Nature; conserve water, plant trees or do whatever that will be positive to the environment. Our development should not be at the cost of nature’s damage. Please inculcate Self-motivation, Resourcefulness, Hard & Smart work attributes. Try to be innovative in whatever, wherever and whenever you do.”
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Take a walk on the successful path that the ‘Water Literacy Foundation’ has created through their works and other activities:
http://www.rainwaterconcepts.org
http://www.rainwaterconcepts.co.in
http://www.waterliteracy.org
http://wn.com/Ayyappa_Masagi_and_Jamnalal_Bajaj_Award_2009
Masagi as Ashoka Fellow: http://www.ashoka.org/node/3554
Write to the founder of WLF: rainwatermasagi2000@yahoo.co.in
Talk to Ayyappa Masagi: +919448379497 (Mobile), +918023339497 (Landline)
Postal Address:
Rain Water Concepts (I) Pvt Ltd and Water Literacy Foundation
No: 347, Parvathi Nilaya, Kallappa Layout, Amruthahalli,
Sahakarnagar post
Bangalore -92, India
The following video might help you gaining more knowledge on water conservation:

[This story was originally published in our Asian Edition at http://www.asia.youth-leader.org/?p=3819]

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About the author
Nikesh Thapaliya: Media person, entertainment lover and  a world record holder Nikesh’s vision for the world is “Start from yourself if you want to see the world change.” He wants to see humanity grow more in the world. Mail-> nikesh.thapaliya.youthleader@gmail.com
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