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Water! Water!

Water is the biggest elixir of life. March 22nd is observed as International Water Day. It is an unique occasion to remind everybody that concrete efforts to provide clean drinking water and increase awareness world-wide of the problems and of the solutions, can help make the difference.

It is indeed ironical that the biggest wars of the present day are being waged about petrol. In a few hundred years, biggest wars will be waged on Water- the true liquid Gold. Many might argue that they may not live to see it but it is a collective responsibility to make sure water is saved and is used purposefully so that future generations don’t start invading their neighbors just for the sake of water. The acute water scarcity is something I can relate to as a chennaite and is very much a sensitive topic between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, states in India. Elections are won and lost over water scarcity underlining the importance of something that has been taken for granted.

I am posting this to highlight the water problems in one of the places, I am deeply involved. It is Bhopal. Bhopal, as everyone knows, had a gas tragedy in 1984 and the perpetrators of the tragedy – Union Carbide Chemical Company did not clean up the site in the aftermath of the tragedy and they closed down the factory site with the industrial watse. These industrial wastes have been washed into the ground during subsequent rains an have since seeped into the groundwater table. So, the people of Bhopal are suffering the grave consequences of the disaster even now because they have to consume this water. Women have been the most affected by this consumption as their menstrual cycles have been affected, some reach puberty at a very late age, their breast milk contains a certain level of poison etc etc…

1) The Madhya Pradesh (MP) Government has failed to implement a May 2004 Supreme Court directive instructing it to provide clean piped water to the 14 communities currently forced to consume water contaminated with poisons from Union Carbide’s abandoned factory.

2) The whole affair reeks of yet another scam at the expense of the Bhopal victims. While the Government claims to be supplying 360,000 litres of water per day, itself a fraction of the need for 881,500 liters/day, the actual supply in February 2005 was a little over 125,000 litres per day–just 14% of the daily water requirement, according to data collected by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

3) Mercury, chlorobenzenes and naphthalene are some of the deadly chemicals that were found at dangerous levels in the groundwater. Nearly 20,000 people, including gas victims and people who moved into the area after the disaster, are currently drinking this water because the Madhya Pradesh Government has failed to provide them with clean water. Already, reports indicate that the contamination may be causing
an increased incidence of abdominal pain, giddiness, anemia, growth retardation among children, birth defects and skin problems among the 20,000 people exposed to the poisoned water.

So, people who read this post, please up the pressure on the Indian Government to provide clean water for Bhopal. Please sign the webfax here. Many of you might be skeptical about whether this might work and many may even consider it waste of time. I am telling you that it does work and the Indian Government has been responsive to such pressure for home/abroad.

To quote lines from a Bhojpuri poet who had written for an Indian rock band named Indian Ocean for their album Kandisa

“Hille le jhakjhor duniya
hille le jhakjhor
janta ki chale paltaniya….
hille le jhakjhor duniya”

For those of you who did not understand, the song talks about the power of people in shaking the world of its brutality, corruption etc etc. I love the song as it has a nice jumpy tune and also conveys the message. To listen to the song, click here and it is the fourth song on that list….

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

March 22, 2005 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. Wonderful post. Bhopal – What a tragedy. First it was the accident and I read that the effects are still there and now your posting about the water.There is big noise being made in the area I live here in California, about a Landfill causing health problems due to water seepage into the drinking water system.Bhopal and for that matter all cities in India will have the same problems. No wonder cancer rates and going up..almost in all cities.Chennai – I feel that the only solution would be to build desalination plants around the coast (TN has a huge coastline) and permanently solve this issue. But then considering the ‘corruption’ angle ..the money flow will stop right there if this is done.Thanks for the link. I’ll certainly do my part.


    March 22, 2005 at 6:42 pm

  2. SudarshanThe WEBFAX link is not working.


    March 22, 2005 at 6:44 pm

  3. Narayanan I fixed the link. it should work now


    March 22, 2005 at 6:55 pm

  4. Thanks for the link.Good post Sud.


    March 22, 2005 at 11:08 pm

  5. very informative………


    March 23, 2005 at 6:42 am

  6. Good one. I saw a very interesting docu on the same in BBC I think. Cant even begin to imagine the horrors.

    The Last Blogger

    March 23, 2005 at 12:39 pm

  7. Hi,
    me first time on ur blog. Dont really know y uve titled it ” The Devil’s Workship” although this particular post of urs conveys noble intentions


    March 23, 2005 at 9:17 pm

  8. TLB, Jagan Thanks for the compliments.The Optimist Good Q. I named it the Devils Workshop because that is the side of me that shows up more often in this blog…


    March 24, 2005 at 1:01 am

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