Oct 2001:
A public meeting attended by stakeholders from region of the Thar Desert, mandated the formation of JBF to address the Water crises.
Thar Desert, the world's most water distressed and densely populated arid zone
Fragile ecosystem
Extreme economic deprivation
Acute Drinking Water Scarcity
Diminishing traditional forms of natural resources management
Learn more about Project area
October 6-8, 2001 :
The meeting was followed by grass roots consultations in the region during which villagers responded enthusiastically in huge numbers to pledge their support
Public demand grew for the establishment of an organizational framework to formalize and make this water crusade sustainable

Jal Bhagirathi Foundation was formed as a public trust on 15th January 2002

  • Settled as a Public Trust, Registration Number:
  • FCRA Number: 125610038, dated 6th January 2003
  • Registered under section 12A of Income Tax Act 1961
  • Donations exempted under section 80G of Income Tax Act 1961

Board of Trustees

(Click on Picture to know profile)

HH Maharaja Gajsingh II Founder Trustee

Prithvi Raj Singh Founder Managing Trustee

Rajendra Singh Founder Trustee

HH Maharani HemlataRajye Founder Trustee

Kanupriya Harish inducted as Trustee in 2009 and designated Executive Director in 2014


Jal Bhagirathi Foundation is driven by a vision of water security, sustained by responsive governance and inclusive growth, leading to sustainable development.


Jal Bhagirathi Foundation exists to provide an enabling environment in which the desert communities of the Marwar region can access adequate drinking water for humans and animals within the constraints of environmental equilibrium by leveraging traditional knowledge and appropriate technology; facilitating village institutions of collective wisdom and building local capacities for community mobilization in an atmosphere of transparency, participation and accountability, through a process of networking and advocacy.

Core Values

Our organizational thinking and actions are rooted in respect for the communities with which we work and in respect for their collective wisdom in promoting sustainable levels of human interaction with the environment.
We are committed to bringing about change and inclusive growth, while proactively seeking the participation of all those affected by our programmes.
We shall uphold the highest standards of integrity in all our professional and organizational actions, and are committed to Total Quality Management, accompanied by continuous internal improvement
We are committed to extending unqualified support for achieving people's rights (including the right to water) in the belief that our work will be successful if it eventually contributes to improved public governance.

Implementation Framework

Jal Bhagirathi Foundation organizational structure is a unique amalgam of village-level volunteers and a resource base of professionals. The team of 20,000 village-level volunteers is assisted by members of a professional and technical workforce in effectively adopting and implementing a rights-based approach by mobilizing communities, and in planning, implementing, and monitoring development interventions.

Village level

Jal Sabha

It is the primary executing and decision-making body for implementation of all water and land development projects. It is responsible for the construction and maintenance of water structures.

Block level

Jal Samiti

The Jal Samiti is responsible for coordinating micro-projects, mitigating conflicts, helping village representatives develop strategies to counter problems, and promote best practices.

Organization level

Jal Parishad

The Jal Parishad is responsible for the reviewing and approval of work plans and grants for construction of village projects. It is constituted of Stakeholders, Volunteers, community leaders and Experts.

All the stakeholders

Jal Sansad

It provides a platform for members and volunteers to discuss the program activities and stakeholder concerns, and to ensure stakeholders' participation in the programs.

Key Achievements

HH Maharaja Gajsingh II - Chairman and Founder Trustee

HH Gajsingh II is an international celebrity, many books, publications and films have been made on and about him. He has served as Indian High Commissioner in the West Indies, concurrently accredited to Trinidad & Tabago, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia St. Vincent & Commissioner to Antigua, St. Kitts, Montsarrat, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands. He has also been Member of Parliament and served in the Rajya Sabha.

HH Gajsingh II has been Chairman Rajasthan State Tourism Development Corporation, Government of Rajasthan, Recipient of the Hadrian Award, presented by the World Monument Fund and of the IATO'S Hall of Fame Award. He is the Founder of numerous well known philanthropic institutions & Charitable Trusts, among them being: For the education of Women: Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls Public School, Jodhpur and Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls' Hostel, Desuri, Jalore. For Health Care: Rajdadiji Hospital, Managed by Apolo Hospitals Group, Jodhpur and the Head Injury Foundation. For Rural Development: HH Maharaja Hanuwant Singh Trust and Vanishing Herds Foundation. For Heritage, Culture and Art Conservation: Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur. For Rehabilitation of Army Widows and Personnel: Veerni & Sahyog Projects. HH Gaj Singh II is the Chief Patron and Chairman of: Mayo College Ajmer, Chopasni School Jodhpur, Chopsani Shiksha Samiti Jodhpur, Hanwant Educational Society Jodhpur, BJS Educational Society Jodhpur, Aravalli Management Institute Jodhpur, Jodhpur Nagrik Society (JODHANA). He has also held positions in Trusts, Associations and Philanthropic Organizations as Founder President of Indian Heritage Hotels Association Jodhpur, Convenor: Rajasthan Chapter of Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage (INTACH), Trustee: Jaipur Virasat Foundation, Ambassador: Federation of International Polo, Member: Indian National Committee of the United World Colleges, Mumbai, Member National Tourism Advisory Council, Fellow: Paul Harris Rotary International. 

Rajendra Singh - Founder Trustee

Rajendra Singh also known as the 'water Gandhi" is the recipient of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize 2015 from the Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize and Ramon Magsaysay Award from the President of Philippines, also called the 'Asian Nobel Prize". He is the Chairman of Tarun Bharat Sangh and the Founder-Chairman of Jal Baradari, which is a National Network of voluntary organizations. Rajendra Singh has a rich experience of 25 years in community driven water resource management during which time he has catalyzed communities to buld 20,000 water structures in more than 1500 villages spread over 8500 sq.km in Alwar, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, Karoli, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Ajmer, Udaipur and Bharatpur.

As a result of these efforts five seasonal rivers in the northeastern Rajasthan area, Ruparel, Arvari, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali that had dried up have now become perennial. Rajendra Singhji has mobilized communities to regenerate forests by reviving the customary laws of the communities. Under his leadership, Forest Protection Committees have been set up in 90 villages in Sariska and 32 committees in Sawai Madhopur, Karoli and Jaipur. A people's sanctuary "Bhairondev Lok-Vanyajeev Abhayarany", spread over 12 sq.km has been set up in Bhanvta-Kolyala villages in Alwar. Through his determination, vision, hard work and dedication, Rajendra Singh has transformed the life of people in 1058 villages of Aravali hills. Shri Rajendra Singh is member of many High Powered Committees in the Government of Indi among them are National Ganga Basin River Authority- Prime Minister Office, Expert Empowered Committee- Ministry of Water Resources, Literacy Mission- Ministry of Human Resource Development. Rajendra Singh is recipient of numerous awards among them are: Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar by Government of India, Rotary India Award (by Rotary International, Jamla Lal Bajaj Award by Jamla Lal Bajaj Foundation, Sanskrit Award by Sanskrit Prathisthan, Man Of The Year by The Week, Nisarg Mitra Award by Rotary Club Of Bombay, Vikhroli, Siri Ram Washeshran Award by Siri Ram Washeshran Devi Bhatia Memorial CharitableTrust, Ashok Gondhiya Award by Young Men's Gandhian Association Rajkot, Tiger Conservation Award by Tiger Trust India, Krantiveer Award by Rajvanshi Trust- Ujjain, Acharya Tulsi Samaj Vikas Award by Acharya Tulsi Samaj Vikas Adhyanan Sansthan, Sanskrit Samvardhan Award by Shrimad Rajchandra Adhyatmik Sandhan Kendra, Esso Honour For Tiger Conservation, Diwaliben Award by Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust, Vivekananda Award, Man of the Year, Rotary International Award by Rotary International, Felicitation by Ministry of Rural Development, Godavari Gaurav Award, SamajKarya Gaurav Puraskar by Keshav Gore Smarak Trust, Maharashtra Foundation, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Puraskar by Shahu Smarak Trust, Kranti Agrani Puraskar by Abasaheb Lad Trust, Maharashtra

Prithvi Raj Singh - Managing Trustee and Founder Trustee
Governor, World Water Council 2016-18

Mr. Prithvi Raj Singh is Founder-Trustee of JBF and has provided strategic management, clear sense of direction and introduced sound principles of systems and processes, which has been responsible for the incredible growth of the organization impacting thousands of people suffering from drinking water distress. Recently he has been elected at the Board of Governors at World Water Council, a premier global body of water organizations. He is also member of the Rajiv Gandhi Water Mission of the government, member of the Steering Committee of the European Union State Partnership Water Program and many other Government Committees on Water Resource Management. He fostered partnerships of JBF with International Organizations such as UNDP, Italian Development Cooperation, EU, UNICEF, World Bank, USAID, etc.

He is a full time voluntary social worker and development specialist involved in numerous philanthropic organizations. He is also the Founder member and Managing Trustee of Jal Marudhara Foundation, an organisation involved in creating availability of safe water and rural livelihoods, he is Managing Trustee of Khetri Trust and Trustee of Jal Baradari, a national level water advocacy platform.

HH Maharani HemlataRajye - Founder Trustee

Maharani Hemlata Rajye is the Managing Trustee of Rajdadiji Hospital, a prominent healthcare center in Jodhpur, Trustee of Meharangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur which manages the Meharangarh Fort, considered a leading Institution in India for conservation of Indian Art and culture. She is Founder Trustee of Maji Shreechauhanji sahiba Trust which operates a charitable hospital and provides health care to the poor communities in Jodhpur, Trustee of HH Maharaja Umaid Singhji Trust and Trustee, HH Maharaja Shree Hanwant Singhji Charitable Trust, which is a prominent local NGO working in Jodhpur District addressing empowerment of women, health care and operates a leading school for girls in Jodhpur.

She is also the Director, Jodhan Investment Finance Corporation Pvt., Ltd, Director, Jodhpur Jawarharat Pvt Ltd and Founder Director of Marudhar Hotels Pvt. Ltd which owns and manages some of the most prominent Palace Hotels of India including the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. 

Kanupriya Harish – Trustee and Executive Director

Kanupriya Harish is a development professional who has done Master of Philosophy (MPhil) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Sustainable Environmental Management at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She joined Jal Bhagirathi Foundation during its nascent stages in 2004 and has substantially contributed to its growth in various positions held by her in the Foundation. Kanupriya Harish was appointed Project Director in 2007, became a Trustee in 2009 and was appointed as Executive Director in 2014. As the operational head of the organization she has implemented and managed a large portfolio of projects across 450 villages to revive traditional water harvesting systems through facilitation and capacity building of community institutions to address drinking water scarcity, climate change, enterprise development and setting up small water enterprises. She was appointed as a member of the International Steering Committee for the 7th World Water Forum and was responsible for overseeing the planning of the World Water Forum organized in Korea in April 2015. Recently she got elected as Alternate Governor representative of Jal Bhagirathi Foundation in World Water Council.

Addressing safe water and sanitation, women empowerment, rural livelihoods and advocating for policy reform to ensure pro-poor concerns are integrated in policy formulation. Kanupriya Harish has supported the research project "Social Participation in Water Management and Governance: Critical and Global Perspectives"for Fullbright Scholar Dr. Kate Berry, University of Nevada, Reno. She has authored chapter titled "Strengthening Traditional Wisdom and Resilience in India's Thar Desert" published in "The Nature of Drylands: Diverse Ecosystems, Diverse Solutions"; a publication by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Co-authored chapter titled "Applying Bottom-up Participatory Strategies and Traditional Methods of Water Harvesting in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan" published in "Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security: Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks" - Hans Günter Brauch; Úrsula Oswald Spring; Czeslaw Mesjasz; John Grin; Patricia Kameri-Mbote; Béchir Chourou; Pál Dunay; Jörn Birkmann; (eds); Springer Publication 2010.