“I am concerned about providing primary requisites for our people. Free education, free medical aid, and free basic amenities like drinking water. Education is for the head; medical care is for the heart; and pure water is for the body. These three cover the main requirements of life.”- Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has already funded several major drinking water projects. One project completed in 1996 supplies water to 1.2 million people in about 750 villages in the drought-prone Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. The second drinking water project, completed in 2004, supplies water to Chennai through a rebuilt waterway named “Sathya Sai Ganga Canal”. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Hindu hater M. Karunanidhi praised the Chennai water project and Sai Baba’s involvement. Other completed water projects include the Medak District Project benefiting 450,000 people in 179 villages and the Mahbubnagar District Project benefiting 350,000 people in 141 villages.
Now in January 24, 2013 was yet another golden day in the history of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. The “Bhoomi Puja commenced ( a ceremonial ritual where special prayers are offered to Mother Earth before laying the first foundation stone also called as Ground breaking ceremony) for an unique water supply project taken up by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust in coordination with the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
This new project, with an estimated budget of nearly Rs.80 crores will bring water from the Chitravati Balancing Reservoir at Peddakotla to quench the thirst of 118 villages (benefitting about Two Hundred Thousand people) in the three Mandals of Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and Bukkapatnam. These are the villages that were not covered under the Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project of 1995 due to some technical reasons.
The government identified a place in Kothacheruvu town for construction of the over head tank from where the water would be distributed to the villages.The inaugural Ceremony was held today on 24 Jan, 2013, attended by Shri V. Durga Dass, IAS , District Collector, Shri Palle RaghunathaReddy garu MLA, Shri R. J. Rathnakar, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust,Former CEO of L&T Shri Ramakrishna , Shri GSRCV Prasada Rao, I.A.S (Rtd), formerly Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh who is currently the Secretary of the Trust, Shri.Kondala Rao, Technical Advisor, Govt.of A.P also attended the programme along with devotees of Kothacheruvu and Bukkapatnam mandals.
Speaking to the media Shri.V.Durga Das, District Collector of Anantapur expressed immense happiness on the start of this project by Swami’s Trust. He said, it is a rare fortune for the people of Anantapur District to receive the blessings and help of Sri Sathya Sai Baba directly. He thanked the Chief Minister; State Ministers Smt.Geetha Reddy and Sri Raghuveera Reddy for giving clearance and unconditional co-operation for the completion of the project.Speaking on behalf of the District Administration and the goverment, Shri.
Durga Das assured of any support in the future for Swami’s Trust and for the projects taken up by the Trust.
Addressing the media, Shri R.J. Rathnakar Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, said that this unique, safe, assured supply of drinking water project of Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a noble water project in continuation of the first phase of the Anantapur Water Supply Project. He stated that the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Projects must be viewed in its entirety and not merely in terms of statistics, impressive as they are. , — they must be seen a touching symbol of Sathya Sai Baba’s Love for Humanity.
He said that the Sai Free drinking-water projects constitute a major milestone in the history of the Sathya Sai Central Trust.He said it was an unanimous decision by all the Trustees to start this project and he thanked the government of Andhra Pradesh for allowing the Trust to go ahead with this project by giving all the administrative and technical clearances. Shri.Rathnakar said with the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, this project will be completed by March 2014 and the people of these villages will be getting Sai water for drinking. Later Sri.Palle Raghunatha Reddy, MLA, Puttaparthi and Shri.Prasada Rao,Secretary of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust shared their thoughts with the media.
WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT SATHYA SAI WATER PROJECT;
The Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project is the largest social benefit project undertaken anywhere in the world by a private charitable organization and the statistics of the Project are most impressive.
The Trust in earlier years had established rural Drinking Water Supply Projects in the districts of Ananthapur, benefiting over 1.2 million people, in Medak District benefiting over 450,000 people, in Mahboobnagar District benefiting over 350,00 people , and rural people in tribal areas of East and West Godavari. The Sai Water projects covered about 1,500 villages.These projects were completely executed by the Trust at their cost and then handed over to the Government of Andhra Pradesh,. The Central Trust also modernized the Telugu Ganga Canal to ensure supply of Krishna water as contracted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to the Government of Tamil Nadu for Chennai city, benefiting millions of the cities population
A VERY INTERESTING CASE STUDY FOR THE WORLD:
The Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project has had the distinction of being mentioned in the Ninth Five Year Plan as a project that is worthy of emulation, with millions of people getting the benefit. The fourth World Water Forum held at Mexico in March 2006 adjudged Sri Sathya Sai Water Project as one of the ten best Local Action Projects in the world contributing to the Millennium Development Goals. The value of the projects executed by the Trust and transferred to the Government and public so far, in the area of drinking water supply alone, is around Rs 650 crore which itself speaks about the might of this project. One of the millennium development goals of the UN is to reduce in the next ten years the number of people going without water and Sri Sathya Sai water projects are a telling example of how with inspired leadership, proper public-private partnership and more so with a pure and self less heart, stupendous objectives can be achieved through Love and Compassion.