Mushtaq Hurra

Celebrating World Water Day

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​Though death is the most certain thing among all the uncertainties of the world, but man still has been endeavouring hard to find an elixir of life which would grant him eternity and immortality. Initial instances to seek the elixir of life dates back to 2nd millennium BC when ancient Mesopotamians had longed to become immortal. We find a mention of it in the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh.

Europeans, Japanese, Chinese and Indians had also stationed their alchemists on long hunts and voyages to make a breakthrough. But, all these attempts have proved futile. Now, if the alchemists belonging to different parts of the globe will come along with the much anticipated magic bullet and the potion to retire the angel of death. The Amrit would either be “Water or a compound containing Water ” because water is the potion which sustains life on the planet.

Water is one of the most important ingredients of life. Allah SWT created water prior to the inception of Adam on the planet earth. Even water is believed to be one of the basic elements of Adam’s creation. Planet earth is called the blue planet for its abundantly rich sources of aqua.

Though we have gigantic sources of water on the planet, but only 2% of it is potable. Rest of the water is saline, hence unfit and unsuitable for human consumption. Global water resources are dwindling and diminishing day in and day day out. Political regimes of different countries are at daggers drawn with each other, over the alleged violation of different treaties signed bilaterally between them. According to estimates, more than three billion people worldwide depend on the water that crosses national frontiers. Even Indo-Pak Indus water treaty grabs media limelight when the two nuke gaintsof South Asia accuse one another for an alleged breach of the pact, and consequently, tensions escalate between the two arch rivals.

According to a UN report, more than two billion people across the globe have no access to safe drinking water. Common masses in many African countries crave for drops of water. Acute scarcity effects their agriculture and other allied sectors as well. Even hydroelectric energy production reduces drastically in the countries with drought like circumstances.

Thus, water shortage is one of the detriments of absolute poverty in these countries. Consequently, food crisis are about to assume dangerous proportions. According to a UN report authored by John Holmes,each day, 25,000 people including 10,000 children die from hunger and other related causes. Since food is subservient to water, so water crisis are sure to induce food paucity.  Predictions by the United Nations and the world bank state that water scarcity impacts approximately 40% population of the world, with upto 700 million people at risk of displacement due to drought by 2030.

Water scarcity often leads to strained relationships between the countries which share common sources of water. Many countries accuse their neighbouring regimes of artificial water dearth, which even leads to escalations. This year’s theme of world water day is ” Water for Peace “. Water pollution, degradation of fresh water resources coupled with climate change has worsened the scenario. Analysts and observers have predicted a possible third world war for water.

Former UN general secretary Dr Boutros BoutrosGhali had predicted a possible war in Middle East over water.The probable water wars theory is backed by a study propounded by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre which states that the effects and repercussions of climate change and the rising water shortage can lead to regional instability and social unrest.

Our national scenario isn’t pleasing and promising at all. Many Indian states are on the verge of a terrible catastrophe. India is battling with a scary situation. Bengaluru is grappling with a nasty water shortage even before the onset of a parched and sizzling summer. Over one hundred million Indians are affected every year by water crisis. Glaciers confined in our Himalayan region are receding at an alarming rate.

Soaring levels of air pollution in our industrially growing country are proving to be the last nail in the coffin. Lack of civic sense and belongingness in a majority of our countrymen is damaging our rivers, ponds, lakes and other water bodies. Many water resources have almost disappeared from the scene.

Our valley is no exception to the exasperated conditions. Once known for its sweet and crystal clear water bank, custodians of the land have been suffering for water deficit. Last three decades have been detrimental in the qualitative and the quantitative degradation of our water bodies. Our callousness, insensitivity and complacency towards our water treasures has aggravated the trouble.

Reckless and relentless deforestation incorporated with the usage of incessant polythene products, has already deepened the pangs of cruel crunch of water. Our water treasures viz glaciers have suffered considerably to our greed and oblivious conduct. Our summers display a horrible scenario with people coming out on the streets to register their protests against the authorities at the helm for inadequate water supplies.

Paddy crop in many areas suffers damage for insufficient water supply. I mean, the clouds of a possible calamity are looming large on the entire humanity, if the deterioration of water and its resources is not checked immediately.

Pope Francis had once remarked, “The inception of the world began with water, but I fear, if it is available at its end.” Our ruthless means will make our progeny to pay a heavy price and brunt for it. Let’s all pledge to conserve water for a peaceful and beautiful world to cradle humanity and life for ever.

The author is a Teacher and a Columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]




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