After moving back to India from London, Natarajan partook in many endeavours to uplift underprivileged members of society. But the sweltering heat of Delhi summers prompted the man to turn his attention to water and how he could help to alleviate this issue.
By placing a water cooler outside his own home, his eyes opened to the grim reality of water poverty. People couldn’t walk even a fair distance to quench their thirst. Extremely saddened, Natarajan took it upon himself to install several matkas, or earthen pots, in various parts of South Delhi.
This feat has now earned him the moniker of ‘Matka Man’. He refills each one of them through a van that he drives around himself.
“What propelled me was the indifference we all have for the poor. They don’t even have water in this age and time. Instead, the state sells water to them in mobile carts. The best I have learnt in this journey is there is no limit in giving to the community, water has just been the beginning for me and my learning every day is a wonderful experience and cleansing for the soul. I am 70 years old, and I have learnt from my early days that never take no for an answer. Living in Panchsheel park, I hope one day I can make this colony an example of kindness and care to the nation. We must lead by example, and I am the first example—I say this not for self-praise but for the lack of a better phrase.”