Simon Oraon

Simon Oraon

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Category: Environment , Social Work

Simon Oraon Profile

  • Name:
  • Simon Oraon
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Bero

Simon Oraon Biography

Simon Oraon, fondly called Jharkhand’s Water Man is a social worker and environmentalist. He is also known as Simon Baba among his villagers. He received Padma Shri, in 2016, for his contributions to society. He is also Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow. He is best known for his rescues and efforts during combat drought in the state of Jharkhand, by providing five irrigation reservoirs as well as an environmental project to promote planting trees as well as digging of wells and ponds in 51 villages. Hence he is known as Waterman. He has transformed the lives of thousands of villagers in Jharkhand with his massive tree-planting and water conservation efforts.


Simon Oraon Minj was born in Khaksi Toli, Jharkhand. His remote village belongs to Bero Block, around 35 km away from Ranchi. Simon had only primary education till class 4. His villagers relied heavily on rainwater for their agriculture. For the same reason, their cultivation was limited to certain time periods round the year. It prompted Simon to build a reservoir that can store water for agricultural purposes later. He along with a group of villagers started their attempt in 1961 to build a reservoir beneath the hills.


His first two attempts failed, while his third dam survived. It provided irrigational facilities to the villagers. He built two more dams at Deshbali and Jharia and several ponds in the neighbouring villages of Hariharpur, Jamtoli, Khaksitoli, Baitoli and Bhasnanda. Thus he was instrumental in constructing five check dams in the region. He was selected as the chief of the tribe in 1964, after which he initiated social forestry program at his ancestral property. He is still continuing his efforts planting more than 1000 trees a year. He also fights against deforestation and illegal felling of trees. Currently his assistance is available over 2000 acres of land covering 51 villages, and he ensures water supply of this region.

Published: November 23, 2018

Updated: November 23, 2018

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