#WATWB: Shyam Lal–Who Dug a Pond for His Villagers for 27 Years

Posted: 2019/02/22 in Blogging
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For years, Saja Pahad village in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district (in India) faced water shortage. Villagers found it difficult to quench the thirst of their cattle, but they did not know what to do. And the government, too, did nothing.

Then one day 15-year-old Shyam Lal decided to take his spade and dig a pond. Fellow villagers laughed at him. But the tribal teenager was determined.

Lal identified a spot in the forest in and kept digging — for 27 years, according to villagers.

The result is nothing less than that of Bihar’s mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi — a one-acre 15-feet deep pond, which is filled with the elixir of life.

“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the 42-year-old beams proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village.

Villagers hail him as a role model and saviour. Ramsaran Bargar (70), a local who witnessed Shyam toil through the years, says, “The pond is now used by everyone and we are all thankful to him.”

Sources said Saja Pahad, which lies near a hillock under Chirimiri, still does not have electricity or proper road connectivity. The only source of water for the villagers is a couple of wells.

Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year. The rainfall has been 10% short of the average over 10 years. District collectors have been directed to ensure proper utilisation of irrigation facilities.

Shyam Lal.2

Shyam Lal. Photo credit: hindustantimes.com

This is the 21th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Inderpreet Uppal Shilpa Garg,  Sylvia McGrath , Belinda WitzenHausen, and myself.


To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.


  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List


If you would like to help out in saving a school, you could also sign up for theValentine’s Day :Show the Love , Save a School Blogathon . It is easy to join–just write about someone/ something you love. You can combine it with your WATWB post.
You could also chip in to the fundraiser here, only if you’re so inclined.
  1. Thanks for telling me about this man, Peter. I was born in Chattisgarh. Will have to look him up. SO much goodness in this world, and we keep talking about darkness!

    Thanks also for the shoutout to the Valentines Day Blogathon. The fundraiser is inching forward, and hopefully, these brave teachers won’t have to go without a salary.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    That is an amazing story. One man’s dedication to an idea – it’s incredible. That had to be so much work, I can’t imagine. Thank you for sharing this story, Peter!

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you too, Dan. There is strength in us that when unleashed we become unstoppable. Reading these #WATWB stories, I have come to believe that people are capable of more good deeds than is usually credited. I have questioned our obsession with negative news. It depresses me that I am myself a victim. I think it is a kind of mental conditioning from birth. If we grew up in a more positive world we would do great things to one another. Our positive energies would be infinite. And we’d live happily. Thanks.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you. I appreciate that.

  3. What an inspiring story of determination and focus, and the goodness one person can create. Thank you for sharing this, as well as co-hosting WATWB.

    • Peter Nena says:

      You are welcome and thank you too, Deborah. Shyam Lal epitomizes selflessness. 27 years of grueling work to serve people! His love, his determination, his strength. I love what he did. Thanks.

  4. Kalpana says:

    I love this story and the determination of this man dedicated to digging. Wonderful.

  5. lizhartz says:

    I am so inspired by this story of one person who decided to give fully and carried through in ways that amazed and helped so much and touched us all. And I’m inspired by what you wrote, Peter, about the unleashed strength in us that when unleashed makes us unstoppable. Reading the #WATWB stories does the same thing for me: shows me the great goodness people are capable of. I’m thankful for whoever came up with this great idea to share positive news.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Hi Liz. I’m so happy about #WATWB myself. And I’m so happy it inspired you. The stories remind us of who we really are inside. That despite the downturns and the negatives and the neverending terrors of this world, we can still find the angels in us and uplift one another. Thank you so much for your comment.

  6. simonfalk28 says:

    Such a simple aim and single minded verve of Shyam Lal. As Dan noted, it hard to be hard work. He is a local hero for people to get such a basic and precious resource. Thanks, Peter, and for co-hosting us too.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you too Simon. 27 years is a long time to spend digging but Shyam did it. He did it for his community, which makes him a shining star in the world, a reminder that the world is still a good place. Thanks.

  7. I’ve been “away” from my blogging buddies so long I didn’t know that WATWB was still going! I can do this — and great story Peter.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Hi Kate. Nice to hear from you after such a long time. I’m glad you are back. The agreement was that #WATWB will go on for as long as we are blogging. So do not hesitate to join us. Thank you.

  8. Sylvia W. McGrath says:

    What an inspiring story of determination and focus, and the good one person can create. People take so much for granted these days that we never hear this kind of story. Thank you for sharing and being a part of “we are the world.”.

  9. Wow, what an inspiration. For someone to spend his life… blood, sweat and tears, to improve life for his community is definitely heroic in my book. Thanks so much for sharing this Peter and for being a part of #WATWB!

  10. Susan Scott says:

    Shyam Lal – what a man you are! Thank you for your unending efforts to bring the elixir of life to your village. I like what you say in response to a comment about the strength that is unleashed becomes unstoppable. These stories remind us of that – thank you –

  11. hilarymb says:

    Hi Peter – amazing man and how wonderful to read about. Incredible though that Damyanti was born in the area – talk about co-incidences … a great find for us to read here at WAWTB … thanks – brilliant – cheers Hilary

  12. What a joyful outcome for such a labour!! Thank you Peter for telling us!!

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