In an era when majority of businessmen only think about making more money or profit, a diamond trader from Surat (Gujarat) is going all out to develop his native village and extend the small stretch of Thebi River that passes through it.
65-year-old Jeram Thesia, is a diamond trader from Surat and belongs to village Ingorala in Thesia district of Gujarat.
Doing whatever he can to achieve this dream, Thesia has already spent crore of rupees to develop Ingorala.
Recently, Thesia spent a whooping Rs 15 crore from his own pocket so as to get the 10 km stretch of Thebi River deepened and widened in his village areas.
The river is the only source of water in the area, and over the years it has almost dried out. The farmers over the years have been suffering because of depleting water, but once Thesia’s project is complete, the water stretch will not only help them get back on their feet, but also act as a lifeline for many in the area.
Besides investing the required money, Thesia has been visiting the site personally each day and making sure that there is no let up on the work and the machines and dumpers are constantly working on the river.
The project has been going on for the last last three months and to ensure its smooth operations, he even visits the site at night. Besides the basic construction work that takes place throughout the day, at night three machines and three dumpers continue to work.
Thesia, who is promoter of JJ Exports Pvt Ltd, explained that the village has been crying for water for years and drastic steps were needed to be taken.
Talking about in the progress of the past three months, Thesia said:
“Three months back, the river was just 2ft deep and 70ft wide. We have now dug it up to 25 ft and widened it to nearly 700 ft. The entire stretch will be brimming with water during rains in the next two years.”
JJ Exports trades in rough and polished diamonds and has also been involved in real estate business in several parts of Surat. Thesia started this project which will not only benefit his village but also the 19 other villages in the area. He explained:
“Around 20 villages in the 5 km stretch on both sides of the river will benefit once the river is deepened. Underground water tables will rise and there will be water in the wells.”
Thesia had a bypass surgery about two years ago and is also a diabetic, but even with this he has made sure that his health doesn’t hamper the work.
Over the months he has become famous among the villagers as the ‘River Man’ and farmers look up to him.
A local farmer Tiku Darbar, explained how few months back he had started to deepen his farms so as to get more access to underground water, but with arrival of Thesia he has now abandoned his plan as his well “will automatically be recharged” once the project is over.
When Thesia was asked what made him choose this project he said:
“I only dream of uplifting my native village. I have devoted my life and wealth for the betterment of villagers.”
According to estimate there is nearly 70,000 bigha farm land in the areas which will be benefited once this project is complete.