Still six months to go before next monsoon and people in some part of the country are already facing a drought. As much as I remember about the monsoon last year, it did arrive late. Everyone was worried and newspapers constantly gave updates on low water levels in dams and rivers that weren’t rising even after a complete month of the season was over. There were talks going on about resorting to artificial rains and its pros and cons were discussed. Then finally, one fine day it started raining well and continued for the following weeks. Well, all is well that ends our wells and rivers filled!!!
At least I thought so. The dam levels were satisfactorily filled when I last read about the rains. May be I concentrated on part of Maharashtra that doesn’t face much of the water scarcity. And that is definitely the urban area. It is amazing how we get to suffer so less of all problems the rest of the country faces. Even when I was complaining about load shedding, it was comparatively less than the rural Maharashtra- the hours we missed electricity supply was directly proportional to the hours they lived in the light. I digressed, one problem at a time…
But disconnection is a basic problem of our country. Some die because they don’t have water and some in flood. And some can blissfully live in ignorance about both these natural calamities being in same country. We cannot even share these problems equally at state level; live alone thinking of whole country as one.
The problem this year isn’t limited to these drought areas. Pictures told this. A weekend family get-together that I had to miss included a trip to a dam nearby. Though the dam still looked good, it was holding alarmingly low level of water at this time of the year. This, people are still unaware as our municipalities have still not started a cut down on water supply. Why? Not that I want…
The priorities of using drinking water are no more drinking and agriculture. Construction sphere consumes a large portion of it and that too with all its might, influencing and intimidating with the money power they have.
Sometimes, our diversity plays a big role in this disconnection. We have heard about the countries which face droughts and have come up with amazing technology to counter it. Then we wonder why we cannot implement the same. What I think, it is because it doesn’t hurt in similar way to every citizen like in other countries with similar geographical and climate zone. Water scarcity isn’t suffered in equal severity all over India. Your pain is still your pain even if I’m sympathetic about it. We will feel the pinch in the last 2-3 months what people are suffering today in less rainfall areas. By the time we start taking it seriously and mulling over the problem, monsoon will take pity on us, the undeserving people and we will be ready to wrap our worries and concern until next year.
Even if we wish we cannot solve the water crisis at national level. This is a problem that needs local level solutions. This has become difficult because we are no longer connected as a community. At least can we be conscious at individual level and use water wisely, remember the water crisis at festivals like holi and do not turn our heads the other way when we see taps running in public space?