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Green hero in Time magazine

india Updated: Oct 06, 2008 00:11 IST
Sanjeev Bhalla
Sanjeev Bhalla
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The US-based

Time magazine

has profiled environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal as one of the 30 “Heroes of the Environment”, chosen from around the world.

A recent issue of the magazine recognised Baba Seechewal’s efforts to transform a 99 km long holy rivulet ‘Kali Bein’. The rivulet, which has historic links with the first Sikh guru, had been “reduced to a filthy drain” into which 6 towns and 40 villages situated nearby emptied their waste.

The Kali Bein is now thriving, families head there for picnics and the devout bathe during religious festivals, all this due to the efforts of Baba Seechewal and the villagers who volunteered to clean the rivulet.

Baba Seechewal said he owed his achievement to the villagers’ support and expressed satisfaction over his worldwide recognition. “We are turning our sights on tanneries and other factories that dispose untreated waste into rivers. It is time to do that on a bigger scale,” he said.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam had twice visited Sultanpur Lodhi, where Kali Bein flows through, to preview the work done by Baba and the villagers and had discussed Baba Seechewal's effort at international forums. Kalam had also specially mentioned Baba Seechewal's achievements at a gathering of intellectuals in Athens.