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Meet Eco Baba, the Man Who Cleaned a 160 Km Long River with his volunteers

Meet Eco Baba, 
the Man Who Cleaned 
a 160 Km Long River 
with his volunteers....

With changing time we are facing the problem of pollution in our environment, as we see people throwing wastes directly into rivers, ponds and lakes which makes it unfit for drinking and hence even creates water pollution causing harm to aquatic animals. Here we have a story of Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal. He is the man made up of passion to make this environment clean and pollution free environment. He is the man who took up the responsibility of cleaning the entire river on him and even proved it how it can be done.
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal was honoured with the ‘Hero of Environment’ title by TIME Magazine, becoming not only the only Indian but also the only Asian to get this distinction in 2008. Sant Balbir also popularly known as ‘Eco Baba’ in India and abroad, has cleaned the 160-km long river Kali Bien-a tributary of Beas, which flows through Punjab, all by himself.

 Today, the historic river bed of Kali Bein, a tributary of the Beas River which flows through Punjab, is teeming with life and is a delight to watch. But it wasn't always like this. The river was once filled with filth and garbage. Till one man, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, took it upon himself to clean up the river. In 2000, Seechewal popularly known as 'Eco Baba', along with a large number of volunteers, decided to take things into his own hands. Not only did they clean. it up and rejuvenate some parts of the river which had been dry for many years, but the team also worked hard to beautify the banks by planting trees. With restoration of its water flow, thousands of hectares of land have been reclaimed from water-logging in Tehsil Dasuya of Hoshiarpur District, from desertification in Kapurthala district, and from floods in the Mand area of confluence of Beas and Satluj rivers. Seechewal, along with his team, also made sure that the people around the area were made aware of the ill effects of dumping waste in the river. Sant Seechewal's works don't stop there. He has also been involved in setting up schools, technical centres and degree colleges, and also works toward eradicating poverty, ignorance, superstition, and atrocities against women. A crusader for environment, Sant Seechewal has established plant nurseries at Seechewal and Sultanpur Lodhi where one lakh plants are distributed annually free of cost among the people as praised of the Guru.
Sant Seechewal has involved the youths in the sports activities. In order to keep the youths away from the drugs and other social evils Sant Seechewal has enganged them in the sports activities. Sports clubs at seechewal and Sultanpur lodhi for various field games and for water sports games have been established. These sports also help the youths to get good jobs.
Sant Balbir’s low-cost underground sewage system model, also known as the Seechewal Model which treats the stored sewage water in a natural way, is now used for agriculture and irrigation. This model has benefitted around 50 villages and has had the envy of the Central Government of India, who approached Sant Balbir to implement this model in the cleaning of River Ganga.  Sant Balbir’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. It has been recognized by national, international organizations, including by late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who praised Sant Balbir’s work in his speeches.

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