Last week at a staff meeting many teachers asked us for mayur jugs (large flasks) so that the children could have clean and cool drinking water this summer. In many cases the teachers requested us to send the flasks filled with clean water as there was no clean water in the slum where they taught. In some cases the sewer and drinking water lines had fused due to endless digging; in other cases there simply was no water and people has to make do with a tanker that came erratically.
Elections are around the corner and many candidates are promising water to their voters. In a slum in Delhi voters stated quite candidly that they would give their vote to the one that would solve their water woes. There is a shortage of water, we all know that. The water table is diminishing, wells and ponds are drying and water is getting scarce by the day. Yet we continue building on flood plains and digging tube wells. No one is willing to listen to environmentalists or green warriors. We may nod our head in agreement at every speech given but how many of us walk the talk. Do we shut the tap while brushing our teeth? Have me given up our jacuzzi, tub bath, shower and reverted back to the bucket and mug bath? Do we make sure that our cars are not hosed when washed? Do we harvest rain water? The list is endless.
The fact that there was no proper drinking water in most of the slums were we teach was a true wake up call. It is time each one of us started doing something to conserve water and treat it like a precious resource and not something we can take for granted.