A day when all the people of the Defend the Sacred Alliance introduce themselves. Moving stories.
I would like to highlight Rajendra Singh who is dedicating his whole life to heal the water. He went into the public eye as an Indian water conservationist and environmentalist from Rajasthan. Also known as the “Waterman of India,” he won the Magsaysay Award in 2001 and the Stockholm Water Prize in 2015. At least seven rivers have been restored to flow all year around through the popular movement he started. Currently, he is moving more and more onto the global stage.
He just returned from Egypt, where leaders from around the world met for COP27. “There was a lot of talk, but no decision; a big circus” he says, disappointed. Rajendra is a man of action. He describes his story of how he started working as a medical doctor in a small desert village of Rajasthan.
There, many people suffered from night blindness. One patient said to him, “We don’t need your medicine, we need water.” Lack of clean water is one of the root causes of the sickness.
Rajendra replied, “I don’t know much about water, I’m trained a doctor.”
“The whole village is suffering from water shortage, this disease must be cured, I can show you what to do in two days.” He portrays this story in ever-changing dazzling colors, bringing his audience into the vibration of action. We can make a difference, we just have to look. The elder took Rjajendra to a well, and lowered him in a bucket 50m deep into it. He describes how studying the layers of soils and stone, the fractures in the Earth showed him what was to be done. We can change things, we can cooperate with the water, we can allow the rain to be absorded by the earth and thus allow springs, creeks and river flow all year.
This was the beginning of his path. He went from being a healer to being a water protector. We have known him for many years. In the morning at two o’clock we can already hear his voice as he makes phone calls to people from all over the world to get something going.
He also says that water teaches us to live in community. He says, “If we want to survive the 21st century, we need to leave the current education systems and turn to Indigenous knowledge.” Just as he did in Rajasthan.
He considers the five elements — earth, water, fire, air and space — as the sacred sources of life. If we learn to cooperate with them, this earth will become paradise.
Otherwise, a day of listening. Moving stories, one can really study how individual people, through strokes of fate, suddenly awaken to their actual profession, their vocation.
All without exception are very moved by the favela.
The name “favela” originally comes from a white flowering plant. Where it appears, people know that there is enough water. That is why people started to build their settlements in these places. Everyone here is proud to live in a favela. For them, it is the heart of the revolution.