Joseph GM Rebello was leading his life at a steady pace as a bus driver when everything came to a screeching halt after a tragic accident rendered him bedridden for 12 months.
But rather than be defeated, he re-invented himself as a staunch environmentalist who has even developed a technique to revive defunct and dry borewells.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Joseph, who is based in Udupi, had dropped out from school after having completed class 10 to become a bus driver. He continued with the profession for 10 years when in 2010, he fell off a tree and was bedridden for a year having damaged his spinal cord.
When he recovered, his employer, a private player in the industry, gave him a job as the bus driver for Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology and Management in Udupi. It was here that he found his passion for environmental causes and conservation while attending gram panchayat meetings in his free time.
Encouraged by the panchayat development officer, he began attending a number of training programmes and was even appointed the convener of the Church Social Development Commission.
While a convener, he came across an empty borewell and quietly started working on a method to revive it. Speaking to the Bangalore Mirror, he explains his method saying, “We dig a pit that is 10 feet deep and 10 feet wide around the abandoned borewell. To make it safe, it is then covered but only in a way that water can percolate through a 5 mm hole in the casing and a mesh is placed that acts as a filter. The rainwater that trickles down brings up the water table.”
The method, that was officially inaugurated last year, was developed after Joseph consulted with experts in the field and also did his own research regarding rainwater harvesting.
Of course recharging dead borewells isn’t all that Joseph does; he also goes to various educational institutes to raise awareness not only about this technique but also various environmental causes close to his heart.