Friday, November 17, 2006

Rivers, where are thou..?

Realization is a great gift, but in the case of mankind, it sadly often comes late. Recently there has been much of hype and hoopla about the Ganga Action Plan, to clean the ganges river, to help rescue the species of dolphins in this mighty river and so on. As the activity progressed, and the media digged further, there started appearing stories of how funds have been misappropriated, rampant tales of corruption and more stories we are used to, daily.

The sadness of the whole situation lies in the fact that in this case we are actually talking about one of the most important resources, any country needs. The water, the rivers, they are the elixir of life and life revolves around this element of nature with shameless dependence. Yet, here we are at crossroads, at a juncture in history, when there is no proper usable water, in spite of having numerous rivers all over the country. The Ganga, Yamuna, Cauvery, Indus, Brahmaputra, all mighty rivers have their own stories of disputes, pollution to tell. These mighty rivers which we likened to Godesses, are today slowly dying, they are slowly fading away.

When we travel across the country, one very common sight we would come across, is the lack of water in the rivers. One factor, could be the population, another could be misuse, but the fact remains that unless stringent steps are taken we will lose our rivers one day. It is a known fact that all civilizations in history grew up around a river, be it the Nile, or the Indus, or any water source for that matter. An Ecosystem is created basically from a water source and that is the law of nature. So when we indifferently allow industries to throw off their toxic waste into the rivers, we can rest assured that the next generation will not have a long lifeline.

Today, I have to spend thirty rupees to buy myself twenty litres of clean drinking water. I languish often about the fact that when I visit my native place in Kerala, which is yet very remote, I drink freely from the big well, and that water is much sweeter. The Ganges is one beautiful river which in it`s origin is crystal clear and admirably pure, at the Gangotri Glacier. Yet as this amazing river continues it`s journey to the sea, providing life and fertility to the millions and the country`s soil, it is being subjected to great humiliation in the form of pollution, unreasonable obstacles and pure filth. When Ganga Devi, meets the King of the Ocean, it is a tear filled embrace, one of great anguish and trauma.

Then of course there is the Narmada over which there has been so much of controversy, that today the common Indian citizen is at a dilemma as to which side to take. Is it the water for one hungry group of people which is important or is it the plight of those rendered homeless, if the water is provided.

Then again we have the Cauvery dispute between the states of TamilNadu, Karnataka and Kerala, where all need water. We have spent decades fighting over our water and river resources and in all this time, we never bothered to actually look at the rivers, and sympathize with it`s condition. By the time, we resolve our issues, and settle, the water in these once pure, beautiful rivers, would either have dried up or would have become untouchable poison.

In the Malabar area of Kerala, there is this great Bharathapuzha river, which is fondly remembered for it`s scenic beauty and pristine water. Today in the summer season, there is no water at all, it is a long stretch of soft sand with small pools here and there, where water has got collected after the trucks came, pulled away the sand and sped away. It shockingly reminds me, that the future of the country is similarly on a road which is potholed thus.

It is time to awaken to do good, than to ignore because then centuries later our parched throats would struggle to ask "Oh!, Mighty Rivers, Where are thou ?"


Ajay said...

true and a very relevant subject. it is sad that rivers are drying up, not only this but they r encroached by weeds at other times. a daunting task .

Nishikanth N said...

Very contemporary subject to us. I wonder what will indian states fight for, once these rivers become extinct. Well...there is no scarcity of subjects to fight for, in India.

Keshi said...

rivers r my fav water bodies...great post and yeah, nature is being abused so much!


alex said...

You have raised a vey important issue here. Humanity is becoming a threat to humanity itself.

The climate is in crisis too. Pollution has reached larming rates.

Srijith Unni said...

@ajay:Yes, ajay, very relevant indeed, because we cannot afford to lose our water. We do not have oil to sell, under the ground, like the middle-east.

@nishikanth:Now that`s easy to answer.. Once the rivers dry up there will be a lot of unused land, state boundaries will have to be redefined. Isn`t that enough for more disputes..? But I hope and pray that we never see such times.!

@keshi: Yes, Keshi, the rivers are beautiful ornaments, which adorn the face of earth. Sadly, they seem to be getting extinct.

@alex:Ye, humanity is threat to not just humanity, sadly also to all fauna and flora, a threat to the very nature upon which we thrive.

Thank you, my dear friends, for sharing your concerns and opinions.

jac said...

with you, all the way.


Though we have all studied about pollution in the past this post is relevant to remind us to be thoughtful in even the smallest manner possible. The rivers are crying dry tears and we dont seem to see or hear those sobs!

Satyendra said...

The glaciers are melting, rivers are drying up, beautiful dolphins in the Ganges are becoming extinct. I take an oath "I will reduce wasting water". Great post Srijith.

passerby55 said...

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink!

Srijith, yes indeed, realisation comes late to mankind. I guess, in this case too he will realise late, when he will find no water to drink then.

River, symbolises the spiritual, material and many aspects of our life. But a river without water will no longer be called one and that will lead to end of life.

The essence of a river is water, and for growth of life, water is the essence.

A great post, Srijith.
Your journey through this space will make us realise "a little sooner than late". Thankyou.

BTW. this template does suit your perspective and goal of keeping your blog.

the clock hanging there , shows us its about time to wake, realise and act.

Srijith Unni said...

@jac: Thanks alot, Jac.. I`ll need that..!

@scribblez: Yes.. dry tears.. pretty dry tears.. We must do our bit to save those rivers.

@satyendra: Thanks for that statement, Satyendra.! Thanks a lot, for your appreciation.!

@passerby55: Yes water is the essence of life, and we must be thankful that we have water in plenty of rivers, and strive not to kill them. Happy to know that you liked the template.. I really needed that confirmation.! :)

Maya Cassis said...

I love the taste of sweet well water and that's another reason to look forward to my kerala trip in the coming year.
Right now, I am on the look out for a water body where I can freely splash around but the pollution and the lack of water just makes one keep looking.