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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Steel City’s waterman back to work

B Vijay Murty, Hindustan Times  Jamshedpur, June 16, 2014
First Published: 14:49 IST(16/6/2014) | Last Updated: 15:00 IST(16/6/2014)

Different people have different ways of fulfilling their social responsibility, but 42-year-old Raj Kumar Singh feels there is no nobler job than quenching somebody’s thirst in the energy-sapping hot weather.

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For the last five years, every summer, Singh has been voluntarily serving water to the people residing in some of the city’s neglected localities – an act that has earned him the unofficial title of the waterman of Jamshedpur.

While the elected representatives of these areas have done little to improve the water supply situation, Singh, a businessman by profession, has been determined in his effort.

Quenching the thirst of people in Jamshedpur's semi-urban areas like Parsudih, Sarjamda, Golpahari and Mukhdumpur where the water table has reached the lowest ebb due to rapid urbanization, this waterman has emerged as a saviour for at least 40,000 people.

Every March, this philanthropist drives his three water tankers to nearby garages for servicing. By April 1, these water tankers hit the road. Drivers recruited for the dedicated job set off early everyday to fill water in the tanks from the water towers of Tata Steel and Tata Motors.

Thereafter, the three tankers reach various localities where people already waiting in queues fetch their share of water for free. This routine job goes on till the monsoon arrives.

So what prompted him to take up the unusual philanthropic job? “There is no nobler job than quenching people’s thirst in this scorching summer. It gives me immense satisfaction,” said Singh.

While both Tata Steel and Tata Power do not charge him for the water his tankers fetch from their water towers, Singh pays up for the vehicle's diesel and support staff that help him in running the show.

“We distribute on average 80,000 litres of water everyday among the deprived and suffering masses,” he said.


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