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Sewa Samwaad

Past Events

Dr. Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India

The journey of Dr. Rajendra Singh is truly captivating. In the mid-eighties, four young students of Rajasthan university set out to settle in a remote village of the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The intention was to start a school to spread education amongst the rural folk. But as Abraham Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs postulates, basic needs take precedence over long-term goals. Soon they realized that water was something that was needed more urgently than any knowledge or enlightenment. So, mission education got transformed into mission water.

Today we have with us the man behind this mission, the waterman of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh who has been instrumental behind recharging more than 2.5 lakh wells, reviving 12 rivers, and impacting the lives of more than 17 lakh people who could go back to their land for farming.

Dr. Rajendra Singh Ji has been aptly decorated with more than 30 national and international awards. Rajendra ji and his team of Tarun Bharat Sangh have put in 40 years of continuous efforts on the ground, an effort that leaves all of us mesmerized.

Thousands of Rain Water Harvesting Structures have been restored after brainstorming the problems and solutions with different communities. The work of Tarun Bharat Sangh also encompasses health, education, and women empowerment.

Words fail to describe the energy, vigor & motivation with which Dr. Rajendra & his team is into all this. I am sure we will get to learn a lot from his experiences and all of us together will be able to fulfill the dream of dignified and self-reliant communities living their lives in harmony with nature.


Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak (Founder, Sulabh International)

With one mission, the sulabh movement took birth in 1970 from going door to door to attaining the championship on the need for toilets today.

In the last 50 years, Dr. Pathak has worked tirelessly for the rights of the manual scavengers who clean dry latrines. His actions aimed at rehabilitating manual scavengers, restoring their dignity by providing alternative employment through skill development.

He is a truly inspiring example of promoting peace, tolerance, and empowerment through Satyagraha. Sulabh International, under his leadership, has been playing an instrumental role in fulfilling the dream of making India clean.

Recognizing its efforts Sulabh was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for implementing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign). His actions have changed the lives of thousands of men, women, and children in India, who are able to live a life of dignity today.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, “I am the son of the son of Mahatma Gandhi but Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is the son of his soul. If we were to go to meet M.K. Gandhi, he would first greet Dr.Pathak for the noble work that he is doing and then meet me.”

The journey of Sulabh International is inspirational for all of us.


Dr. Nomesh Bolia

Dr. Nomesh Bolia, Chairperson

Dr. Nomesh Bolia is a professor at IIT Delhi. His research and innovation interests are in Operations Research and its applications to Public Systems, Public Policy and Governance. Prof. Bolia is the recipient of several national-international awards and grants such as Indo-US Science and Technology Forum's Public Health Fellowship and DAAD (German) Research stays. He has published several papers in international journals of repute, consulted many companies in the public/private sector in India and mentored start-ups in the broad domain of Operations Research. He is the founding coordinator of the DAKSH Centre of Excellence for Law & Technology and founding Director of the Public Systems Lab at IIT Delhi. His vision and commitment to the area of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research were recognized by the Government of India by nominating him as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, India's premier institute in this area.

Prof. Nomesh is currently a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India. He is also the National Coordinator of the Doctoral-fellowship for ASEAN in India (DIA in short, formerly called ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme) programme of the Government of India, which aims to harness the potential of India-ASEAN cooperation through education and research.

What Sewa Samwaad is

One learns as one goes, one unlearns as one grows.

Sewa Samwaad is a global platform of development and growth to share personal stories of change and experiences of causing notable evolution. Development practitioners and veteran leaders inspire the nexrt generation of innovative, and direct social development efforts and initiatives. We aim to nurture a community of problem-solvers and curate ideas for serving humanity. With participants from 25+ countries, we also hope these sessions would play a part in causing a domino effect towards innovation, progress and formation of ideas, community and development.

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What Sewa Samwaad is not

  • Sewa Samwaad is not a commercial platform.
  • It is not meant for marketing, 
  • It is not meant to discuss religious or political convictions.
  • It is not a platform to debate.
  • It cannot be used to partner with any profitable event management organization.


  • Understand stories behind the bright spots of change.
  • Develop an imagination of change, and what it takes to build a community and a good social project.
  • Innovate by understanding the knowledge, temperament, and skills required to build on a development project.

Objectives of Sewa Samwaad

  • To nurture young change-makers with the learnings and life lessons from stalwarts in the development space.
  • To deconstruct the thought process that goes behind building scalable impact.
  • To gather a community of like-minded individuals to make it a learning platform of the development sector.

Who should attend?

Sewa Samwaad is open to any individual who is keen on learning about the development and social sectors. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and sow seeds of wisdom and expansion.

Development professionals and enthusiasts who wish to equip themselves with the tools of development, to be incorporated as a medium.

Policy researchers and scholars who wish to augment their academic knowledge with a real-world understanding of the development system.

Grassroot workers who wish to work on the ground with a community to bring impact.

Students who want to serve the nation via the development sector.

Professors and scholars who are working towards deepening their understanding of development.

Why should you attend?

To understand beyond the questions:

What happened (the story behind the change)?

Why do people decide to work on this particular issue?

How the change was made possible? Speakers who have joined us in the past

  • Shri Narendra Modi (As Chief Minister, Gujarat)
  • Shri Kiran Rijiju, Hon. MoS for Youth Affairs
  • Shri V. Muraleedharan, MoS for External Affairs
  • Shri Bob Blackman & Shri Barry Gardner, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Shri Devendra Fadanvis former CM, Maharashtra
  • Padmashree Mahesh Sharma (Founder, ShivGanga)
  • Dr. R Balasubramaiam (Member, Capacity Building Commission, Government of India)
  • Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi (Director General, RIS & Member, Board of Governors, Reserve Bank of India)

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