About | Founders


Om Prakash Singh

Om Prakash Singh is a visual anthropologist and environmental documentarian. As a documentarian, he holds the distinction of having the highest number of water photographs published on the public domain in the world. For this reason, his close associates often refer to him as the ‘King of Water Documentary’. As the Director of Millennium Water Story (MWS), he has been extensively engaged in visually exploring and documenting issues in water resources management, an area which has remained under-represented in photo-documentary works.

He is dedicated to the cause of sustainable development in general and water sustainability in particular through the use of evocative visual medium, especially high-impact documentary photographic works that he believes hold tremendous potential to inform, educate and communicate with the masses to sensitize them for appropriate action.

He would be one of the rare persons in the world who has travelled extensively in different parts of India in order to visually document a diversity of rural and urban waterscapes. He has been actively engaged in this work with great passion for 21 years since 2002, and his current repository on different aspects related to water would definitely be one of the largest in the world to be produced by any individual single-handedly. The photographs appearing on MWS are only a small fraction of this vast documentary work.

He has the rare distinction of displaying a part of his huge documentary repository on water as full-fledged photographic exhibitions three times at the World Water Week in Stockholm with support from the Swedish Water House. The World Water Week in Stockholm is among the biggest global platforms on water issues. The first exhibition explored urban water challenges, while the second one focused on climate change and water, looking at the human dimensions. The third exhibition at this forum was based on the theme of urban right to water and sanitation. These exhibitions have been recognized as extremely emphatic, leading to critical reflections upon the ongoing global efforts and claims at addressing people's struggles and hardships regarding water and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its predecessor UN Millennium Development Goals.

His World Water Week exhibitions have been widely covered by the international media. One of these was by the well-known American media house ‘Circle of Blue’, which published his exclusive interview in 2011. An onsite interview at the 2011 exhibition was published by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). These exhibitions have been displayed at several locations within Sweden and elsewhere across Europe and other countries, including displays at the International Water Film Festival, Bangalore, India and the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) of the United Nations at Mumbai, India.

A number of other water-related exhibitions have also been developed and displayed by him. These include the exhibitions on 'human right to water' displayed at an international conference in Uppsala, Sweden and 'Mahakumbh Snan: the great sacred bath of India' at Stockholm. His exhibitions have also been held at many educational institutions such as the Stockholm University and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, to name only a few.

He has been engaged in visual documentation of research related to water resources management conducted at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. At present, he is involved in visually documenting water-related research at Södertörn University, Stockholm. He has also helped many organisations build their water-related advocacy resources using his compelling water documentaries. An important example is the Mumbai-based organization Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA).

He has also been engaged as a social documentarian for several national and international agencies, such as UNICEF and FIAN. He has produced a number of high-level documentary works concerning different development issues. Amongst these is his engagement as a member of an European Fact-finding Team on the right to food where he produced a moving, empathy-creating photographic exhibition on the struggle of Yanadis in India for food. This exhibition travelled widely across Sweden, being displayed at the Almedalen Week in Gotland, and at Stockholm and Alingsås. It also travelled to Belgium, France, Germany and Hungary.

His documentary photographs have also appeared in magazines and newspapers and the power of his documentary works has found widespread appreciation in the press and on the web. He has been invited as a guest speaker at many important development forums, notably at the Almedalen Week, which is the biggest political, social and business forum in Sweden. In order to further develop the power of visual documentation on water resources management as the way forward for sustainable development, he has founded MWS together with his wife Nandita Singh in 2016. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden.