In deep waters of drought

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The drought in Maharashtra is a serious condition that should be the front page news and the topic of our real concern. But that gets clouded (even with clear skies and hardly had any rain) with the arrest of Sanjay Dutt and well, if not him, something else that in no way affects us.

Ever since Saving Water for Holi became the focus, many have strongly voiced opinions and tried to divert attention to other situation where there is rampant water wastage. It seems these radical Hindus don’t understand the main essence of Hinduism. I proudly tell that most people I know did not celebrate Holi by playing colours at all. Nor did they give in to stupid advocacy of those who validated their conscience by playing “Dry Holi”. This is no way meant we did not celebrate Holi at all. There was puran poli, there was a bonfire, there was everything that makes Holi holy, the burning of our bad habits to make way for the good.

A standard cricket/football field requires a minimum of 80,000 – 1,00,000 liters of water per application.

But even the radicals have a point when they talk about issues that the modernists and secularists ignore, instead resorting to badmouth and attack religious festivities. The IPL will kick-start soon, and Maharashtra, the state affected with the worst drought is also the state to have two IPL teams, Mumbai and Pune. A standard cricket/football field requires a minimum of 80,000 – 1,00,000 liters of water per application. Approximately 2-3 applications are required per week (1,60,000 – 3,00,000 liters per week) to maintain turf growth and repair damaged areas. More water is needed in hot windy conditions and less in cooler conditions. One can’t imagine the amount of water that will be used for growing the perfect grass for a sport when humans, animals and cattle die thirsty.

There are tremendous amounts of water used to make a bottle of your favourite cold drink (a liter of soft drinks takes about 55 liters of water)

There are tremendous amounts of water used to make a bottle of your favourite cold drink (a liter of soft drinks takes about 55 liters of water) and also unaccounted water is wasted at service stations and car cleaning services. It’s a plight to see people so obsessed with not having a speck of dirt on their car that they forget the ones dying for a drop of water. carEven swimming pools are fully functional in every society and club, why not talk about water wastage there? So much so, even water parks are running in full swing, and it seems even those hugely concerned about water management have not even addressed the situation.

The harsh reality is that thanks to our mismanagement, water is not diverted to the drought affected regions of Maharashtra. What Gujarat could do with Kutch would probably take us years, and tankers will probably go to places where they get their cash, not to places where they get blessings or good karma. By not wasting water, we are being smart, but is it making a difference? The IPL will be held in fervor in both Pune and Mumbai regardless of the tense situation, no amount of protests can stop it (there are hardly any protests for stopping IPL). By not going to water parks, enjoying a dip in the swimming pools or washing our cars daily, the water we save will probably be wasted anyway. So the hardest question to answer here is, “Do we even do anything about the situation? Even though it bothers us, how do we reinforce a positive change?”

One day humans will realise that money does not quench thirst. In fact, the more money one gets, the greedier one becomes. Water cannot have a substitute, and by the time the conscience of a million are awakened, thousands will be dead just because they couldn’t find a drop of water to quench their thirst.

The reason I did not play Holi is not just because I believe the water saved will go to the needy, I am too pessimistic to believe in such things. I did not play colours only because I knew I would not be able to enjoy it, for the faces of thirsty people will haunt me each second. If the IPL is scrapped this year, it least bothers me. There is too much of cricket happening anyway. Nor will I be swimming in pools or washing my beautiful car daily. The reason I do this is to silence my conscience, but is it really enough?

One day humans will realise that money does not quench thirst. In fact, the more money one gets, the greedier one becomes. Water cannot have a substitute, and by the time the conscience of a million are awakened, thousands will be dead just because they couldn’t find a drop of water to quench their thirst. We truly are in deep waters, this summer of 2013, the year of drought and famine worse than even that of 1972.

Go Here SOURCES: http://www.ararat.vic.gov.au/library/document/1257985241_document_effecient-use-of-water-on-sports-grounds.pdf

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_a-litre-of-soft-drink-costs-55-litres-of-water_1665846

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