Lucknow: Nand Kishore Verma’s entire life took a turn from the moment he met the great Indian environmentalist, Sunder Lal Bahuguna. India’s Chipko movement was pioneered by Sundar Lal Bahuguna. Nand Kishore is a teacher by profession and in the past, he used to give coaching classes in the evening.

The influence of Sunder Lal Bahuguna was so intense that Nand Kishore discontinued his evening coaching classes and instead organized an environment programme. Nand Kishore’s society is called ‘Jaldoot’. So far, he has been honoured with 70 awards on national and international level. 

Nand Kishore’s journey

Nand Kishore Verma had met Sunder Lal Bahuguna at a book fair. According to him, Sunder Lal Bahuguna follows a practice where he does not consume grains, vegetables and fruits that are cultivated with heavy water usage. This way of living influenced Nand Kishore on so many levels. He realized that if a person can remain committed to his will for such a long time, then surely, he can manage to contribute his one bit to the cause. From then on, he took on the responsibility and decided to start his journey of making his surrounding greener. 

Beginnings in 2009

Nand Kishore began the river-water conservation and tree plantation initiatives in the year 2009. To adopt a change in his lifestyle, he gave up bathing with soap. He minimised his use of utensils for eating and drinking to conserve water. From there, he educated people about the same practices that they could adopt in their daily lives. Nand Kishore shares that humans use ground water indiscriminately, on top of which, water resources are not taken care of. He studied deeply about these topics and expanded his knowledge.

Making a change

Operating coaching classes after his school hours was a means of earning second income since his salary from the teaching job was not sufficient. When he decided to shut those classes down, he faced opposition from his family members and friends. Tuition classes were a good source of income, and they were revolted to think that Nand Kishore was shutting them down. But he braved through everybody’s scorn and continued on his path of becoming environmentally conscious.

Training from Uttarakhand Administration Academy 

When Nand Kishore was starting out on his journey, he did not have much knowledge about water conservation. He felt the need of training himself. It was the year 2010, when he wrote a letter to Uttarakhand Administration Academy, and was accepted to receive training at the centre in Nainital.  

This was just a beginning and Nand Kishore moved further with his goals by interacting with young children and educated them about water conservation. He continued receiving training from the country’s prominent institutions.

Limca book of records

In the year 2010, he began his motorcycle journey of investigating historical and present conditions of rivers and lakes. He travelled thousands of kilometres in 10 states in 2014, 2016 and 2020 to make people aware about their environment. He did so by holding public meetings and giving speeches. Nand Kishore’s name is registered in the Limca Book of Records.

Writing as a powerful tool

After learning about the cities that are located on the banks of the rivers and what vital role they play, Nand Kishore penned down stories about 108 rivers. Rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri etc, that flow through states are known by everyone but very less people know about the importance of regional rivers. He wishes to spread an awareness regarding the same. Almost one thousand public meetings have been held and 10 thousand saplings have been planted. 


According to Nand Kishore, people are unwilling to listen to long speeches. Therefore, he tries to write a few couplets to send his message across. Couplets are a powerful way to convey a sensitive message through the use of minimum words. Nand Kishore started writing couplets of Jaldoot after understanding the mindset of general public over the years. 

National Water Hero

In 2021, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry honoured Nand Kishore Verma with the ‘National Water Hero’ award. Presently, he works with the administrative committee of District Ganga Committee, Lucknow, as an expert advisor. On Sundays and holidays, he cleans the local Gomti river. 

Working with a team

Nand Kishore’s team is working in 6 to 7 states including Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and more. This team spreads an awareness about water pollution and conservation and also plays an important role in environmental protection.