03Jul2014

An Everyday Social Entrepreneur

Bhure Khan was 14 years old when he migrated with his mother from the area of Kaithwara in Rajasthan to the village of Bhond in Mewat, Haryana, India. They were compelled to move to the other side of the Aravalli range to be close to relatives as they were suffering from abject poverty and lack of livelihood. Bhure Khan took up animal husbandry and plough work in others’ farms to sustain himself and his mother. After saving his income he was able to buy a mud home.

Bhure had to rear and graze his animals regularly to make a living in the husbandry business. He typically took his animals to graze uphill, where he frequently saw women carrying heavy loads of fuel wood and water pots on an unwieldy trek between the villages bordering Haryana and Rajasthan. He began to realize that water scarcity was largely responsible for the hard labor these women endure. Bhure decided that he must try to solve this problem. In the absence of a perennial water source, the problem loomed even larger during scorching summers. Bhure Khan began to persistently scout for areas that could be dug up for surface water storage. His determination eventually paid off. Bhure was single-handedly responsible for the construction of the first reservoir. It was completed in 3 years, and inspired communities across the area.

Two more reservoirs were soon constructed, along with the creation of a shorter and easier route uphill. Bhure’s success was the result of his persistence and determination. He wanted to serve mankind, rather than attain fame and prosperity. Bhure is an example for villagers across Mewat. He accomplished a remarkable achievement at the young age of 25. Bhure said, “Water is the existence of life and is needed in all areas. Without water, trees can’t grow, and humans can’t live. It is needed in all areas that we consider important. I don’t have my own family, but the whole village is like a family and I have done this for my family.”

Today, Bhure Khan is 85 years old and his larger than life contribution is a true testimony to the fact that one person alone can be a catalyst for change. His contribution was widely known in the village, and the community is indebted towards him. Today, his contributions have transcended beyond the walls of the community and have become iconic. Bhure was recognized during the District level Republic Day celebrations in Mewat in front of thousands of people. He is a role model for many across Mewat.

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