In an earlier blog, I had highlighted the importance of potable water and that how this resource essential for the survival of Human Race would become scarcer and scarcer in the very near future! Yesterday, this proposition of mine was proven to be true by the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) episode featuring Shri Rajendra Singh, rightly called the waterman of India! An ordinary man, trained to be an Ayurvedic Doctor, he got inspired first to practice in a remote village where he saw plight of villagers in that arid region due to lack of water. More than KBC the game show, yesterday’s episode was a revelation of how our traditional water resources and local rivers have dried up due to exploitation of underground water and how an ordinary man can change the scenario and in turn lives of locals through sheer determination and backbreaking efforts.
How he constructed the first Johar (a water holding pond that’s underneath a catchment area) with the help of the locals ( by exhorting the aged population as youngsters there had all migrated to nearby towns in search of livelihood and especially the ladies, who were real sufferers having had to travel miles daily to fetch water ) and revived a local river is the stuff folklore’s are made of! The story actually gave me goosebumps and inspiration to write this blog!
Open spaces and water bodies in our neighbourhood are all being encroached upon by avaricious builders in cahoots with the local administration and water mafia is running illegal boring wells to supply water. This is resulting in constant depletion of underground water table as there’s only extraction and no replenishment. Mumbai gets enough rain ( in a good year) to replenish its water sources in the form of lakes around it. But this water is not available or available adequately to meet the requirements or quench the thirst of millions living in unauthorised shanties or buildings, all relying on such supplies of underground water by mafia. Experiments with water harvesting and recycling have been few and far between!
Let’s wake up and take a pledge to treat the water as a resource more precious than our most precious possession or in next 20 years survival of the mankind is going to be endangered!