The world of NGO is plush with several contributions of individuals who have offered wonderful solutions for the improvement of lives of India’s millions-who are downtrodden, marginalized and unheard. One such humble offering to Sarguja province in the north-east section of Chhattisgarh State has been by the prodigy disciple of Late Sh. Prem Bhai of Banwasi Sewa Ashram that is Shri Pratap Bhai. He was graduate in B. Sc. and Diploma in Civil Engineering.
In the barren, flood and at the same time drought infested province of Surguja in the year 1989, came a harbinger of development and hope who is known as Pratap Bhai within all across the voluntary sector. Having got his knowledge and skills from his Mentor namely Lt. Sh. Prem Bhai at the Banwasi Sewa Ashram, Govindpur, (district- Sonebhadra, U.P. India). Under Shri Prem Bhai he took up the leadership role in solving of the water scarcity problem of the Sonebhadra region by sharing his knowledge and implementing the skills of the then avant-garde concept of watershed development to benefit the poor tribal local residents. Pratap Bhai worked with Banwasi Sewa Ashram for more than 17 years and moved to Sarguja district in 1989.
Sh. Pratap Bhai started his own initiative in the literally barren and impoverished area of Sarguja in the year 1990. Sarguja is a district where drought is a recurring feature and seasonal migration is usual phenomena, the rainwater harvesting proves to be the last option to save the mankind. Sarguja district of Chhattisgarh has a long history of droughts and famine. Shri Pratap Bhai started by implementing systematic watershed conservation measures which he has learnt while under tutelage and guidance of Shri Prem Bhai. Having improved the living conditions especially groundwater level, soil conditions and land arability within 5 years. Shri Pratap Bhai became the beloved Samaritan and agent for positive change and development of Sarguja. Subsequently he set-up the voluntary agency famous by the name of Sarguja Gramin Vikas Sansthan. The lone Samaritan thereafter took-up many other related development activities over the period of 18 years. Pratap Bhai rewarded as the “Waterman of Chhattisgarh State” by Sh. Shubhanshu Choudhary (Ex- News reporter of BBC and member of CGNET) in his research article published in ‘Chhattisgarh’ daily newspaper on 6th January 2007. The offerings of Shri Pratap Bhai have become extremely significant and outstandingly irreplaceable for the people of Sarguja.
Moving from one issue to another, the organisation ensured development of livelihoods in many other ways for the poor. As a true ‘gandhian’ volunteer, he gave his utmost services to the people of U.P., Bihar, M.P., C.G. and other states of the country. Pratap bhai focused to work intensively in Wadrafnagar block of Sarguja district where drought and hunger deaths were commonly occurs. He decided to establish the organization’s centre in a tribal village Rajkheta (near Tamor Pingla & Semarsot century forest) of Wadrafnagar block which is adjacent and very nearest to the sub-divisional headquarter. The people of Wadraf nagar Block were expecting even more, but destiny took its course by snatching away this Samaritan on 9th February 2009 in an unfortunate event.