Knowing Mr. Anil Abbi’s story puts everything that TRDC does into context. After all, they work in a fairly unknown (to layman) district that’s quite a drive away from urban life.
Mr. Anil Abbi hails from the district of Haveri himself (Yes, it’s a story reminiscent of the Shahrukh Khan starrer Swades) He was born here and went to school till grade 10 at one of its many schools. He was sent to pursue further studies at Dharwad where they had relatives (or relatives of a relative as that is an acceptable norm in India). He went knowing no English but returned a decade later, with fluent English and a PhD in Hydrogeology, specialized with water Chemistry under his hat, at the age of 28. Had it not been for the request of friends, family and farmers back home, he would have gone down the regular working-life path. They requested him to do something to improve their lot. One thing led to another, the initial educational programme led to rainwater harvesting activities. From that came vocational training, boiling water chula distribution, women’s self-help groups and more. It’s been 16 years that TRDC has been working in the district. 10,000 people have benefitted from their efforts.
If time permits and you are the adventurous type, take a weekend off and plan a visit to Haveri with Mr. Anil Abbi and his team. It’s really difficult to tell what will amaze you more – the greenery of the district, the simplicity of village life, the long drives along roads that don’t seem to end, or the fact that Mr. Anil Abbi and his staff know the way through this greenery and kuchha roads as they do the back of their hands!