Sudhakarrao Naik : Sudhakarrao Naik, the water leader of Maharashtra, why is he called Jalnayak?

Sudhakarrao Naik : Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Late Sudhakarrao Naik’s birth anniversary on 21st August. Sudhakarrao Naik is known as Jalnayak. Because the real work of water conservation has been done by Sudhakarrao Naik. He did substantial work in the state by creating an independent water conservation department to eliminate drought in Maharashtra forever. That is why  Maharashtra government has declared 10 May as their memorial day as ‘Water Conservation Day’. 

Maharashtra has various schemes. But water conservation works are not done due to lack of sufficient funds from any scheme for water conservation. Thus, the water level in the ground is decreasing day by day. Sudhakarrao Naik created a separate water conservation department after predicting that if this situation continues, we will have to face a severe water shortage in the next five to ten years. Funds from several schemes were diverted to water conservation. Water conservation works were done successfully in many places in Maharashtra during his time.  

 After creation of independent water conservation department, water conservation was given a big boost in the state. Sudhakarrao Naik, as the chairman of the State Water Conservation Advisory Committee, planned a program to increase the groundwater level by visiting Jhanjavati in Maharashtra. He did not spare a moment even in the last period to make the water movement public. Taking note of his work Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh as the ‘Father of Jalkranti’ had announced that his memorial day would be celebrated as ‘Water Conservation Day’.  

At that time, Sudhakarrao Naik gave orders to implement the measures of blocking and draining water without building dams. He made this provision so that if small and important works of water conservation are done, the farmer will not be destitute and more land can be brought under irrigation and the rehabilitation problems of the farmers will be solved forever. Due to Sudhakarrao’s bold decision, he was also known as Panidar leader.  

Sudhakarrao Naik was born in Gahuli village of Pusadam in Yavatmal. Father Babasaheb Naik, a public leader, was very strict in discipline and temperament, while uncle Vasantrao Naik was affectionate. Sudhakarrao Naik learned the lessons of politics under the tutelage of such elders. 


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