Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wherever I heard a tap leaking, I’d request people to fix it.

The Anti-Water-Waster Squad

This superhero with a plumber for a sidekick visits houses in Mira Road, attends to every water waster and protects every victim of water shortage. Aabid Surti, could well be called Waterboy.  Growing up watching his mother wait in long queues every morning for water, Surti says he could not bear to hear the sound of water dripping from leaking taps.

“Wherever I heard a tap leaking, I’d request people to fix it. But they would ask ‘why?’ and  believed that a few leaking drops wasn’t a waste,” he says. “Most would complain that plumbers didn’t come home for such meagre jobs.

”Haunted by the idea of hundreds of bottles worth of water being poured down the drain, he geared up to fix the problems himself; so what if he was 80 years old? Surti, along with his plumber Riyaaz Ahmed and a volunteer Tejal Shah (who helps get building society permissions to fix the taps) spend three hours every Sunday fixing leaking taps in the neighbourhood.

Between February 2007-08 alone, Surti visited 1,166 houses, fixed 414 leaking taps and approximately saved three million litres of water. He wants no praise in return, just for others to adopt the model and not let dripping taps waste more water.

Surti is trying to get other senior citizens to adopt his model and is reaching out to students too. His message is simple: “If I can, you can too.”

To adopt the model: Email Surti at or visit his website

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