The topic for Blog Action Day 2010 is WATER and everyone will be posting on this topic on 15th October 2010. Nearly one billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water and around 42,000 people die each week from water-borne diseases. But water availability, or rather the lack of it, impacts a wide variety of issues from the environment to women’s rights and from technology to fashion. So there are a really wide range of topics and angles to look at this years topic from.
In India, among the Hindus, water is given the highest respect possible. Traditional prayers and oblations are always with the use of water. Rig Veda says,
“Yaapo divyaa utavaa sravanti khanitrimaa utavaa yaa swayarn jaa /
samudraartha yaa soochayapaavakaasta aap devi iha mamavantu //”
(Rig-Veda, VII 49.2)
‘The waters which are from heaven
and which flow after being dug,
and even those that spring by themselves,
the bright pure waters which lead to the sea,
may those divine waters protect me here’.
In daily prayers, the elements are invoked to provide timely and copious rains as follows;
Kaale varshatu parjanyaha,
Sad janaath santu nirbhayaaha.
May rains come at the proper time.
May the earth produce all types of grains,
May the country be free from famine.
May good people be free from fear.
Bathing takes a ritual fervour and the holy rivers of Ganga and Jamuna are requested to represent themselves in the water being used for bathing.
This same civilisation today treats water differently. All the holy rivers are polluted and no one seems to care. Ground water levels are depleting rapidly and salinity is creeping in many parts of the country due to excess use of ground water resources.
Some initiatives like rain water harvesting, water conservation and improving the condition of the rivers are slowly beginning to catch the imagination of Indians.
I hope that in my life time, I will be able to see the Mula-Mutha that runs just 200 meters away from our home, shown above, gets back to the river that inspired me to settle down on its banks.