When You Know Your Worth No One Can Make You Feel Worthless – Because You Really Do Matter.

Water for Humans !

Scene I: In one corner of the world, it’s a peak summer midday and scorchingly hot.  The woman looked at her empty bucket. Sweat from her forehead dripped into it.  Her six odd hours of waiting in a serpentine queue for the drinking water tanker landed her back to the same status – no water until the tanker came next time. Like her the other women and children lined up with their buckets and pots.  Several pairs of eyes glued, without a blink, toward the end of the curve of the muddy road.  A feeble honk or a minor vibration of tires on the road made them stand-at-ease taking their position to handle the battle.

Parched lips, dusty clothes, crying children with dehydration, and growling stomachs had become part of the lives of these people.

After hearing the announcement about the water tanker arrival for the next day nightmares of missing the tanker, sleep eluded her in the night.

By six in the morning   she stood in the line rubbing her droopy eyes. Now the time was almost two hours past noon and there was no sign of the damn ramshackle tanker – out of which 30% of the water drained down the road through cracks s or sloshed out of the uncovered top of the tanker. Thoughts of hungry kids at home crossed her mind and she pressed her lips tight.

The tanker was coming  almost after four days.  Thank God, it was at least coming – she looked at the silvery sky. If the tanker didn’t come today, no drinking water at home. The only way to get some drinking water was to walk five miles to the nearest well and fetch. Water was at least needed for drinking. Bathing, washing, and even cooking weren’t the priority now.

The litany of raspy honks of the tanker consumed children’s cry for hunger and exhaustion. The tanker arrived. Suddenly everyone in the line wanted to be first.  The  somewhat peaceful atmosphere turned into a war zone.  They jabbed each other with elbows, knocked the next person down, yelled and pulled hairs. Irate adults dragged the children, who were passing through the crowd looking for the parents, to the sides.

 Ultimately, no one got what they wanted – a bucket of drinking water. The driver   decided to leave because he failed to control the frenzied crowd.  The brawl continued, leaving the woman perplexed and helpless.

Could you believe this whole battle was just for a bucket of drinking water?

Well, the story is far different in other part of the world. Let’s see.

 Scene II: A beautiful ranch styled home perched on the coast of   a sun drenched beach. Well manicured lawns laced with spring seasonal flowering beds made the place dreamy.  Looked like the sprinklers enjoyed ultimate freedom with no control over them. The water was overflowing making the flowerbeds swim.  Excess water gushed down the gutter.

 “Honey, there is a small speck of mud on the rim. Please hose it down until it’s gone,” Mom ordered.

Dad obliged her with hosing down the entire vehicle, for a small dash of  mud, again for another ten minutes.

In the backyard kids enjoyed the weekend thoroughly. They sprayed water at each other from the hose connected to the tap.   The boy dropped the hose on the ground and went inside the house to play his video game.  The little girl gave a lavish bath to her toys using the hose.  Water flooded down the slopes of the backyard.  Mom discussed the “ladies night out dinner” arrangements with her friend on the phone – had no time to supervise and tell  kids not to waste water. 

Grandma in the kitchen washed dishes while watching the TV.  Some of the scenes in the soap touched her heart so much that she forgot about closing the tap and opened her tear ducts. Tears and water competed with each other – Ms. Tap Water won the race of speed and wastage.

The water wasted in the house could have provided drinking water to the lady (in scene 1) who stood in the line for nothing and for her whole village for a few weeks, at least.   

It’s a truth my dear friends, these scenarios are my personal experiences.  With due respect to everybody, I have to say that I witnessed how the water was being wasted in some societies and on contrary, in others, people toil for a bucket of drinking water. Water is more precious than any other wealth.  I myself, as a child in India, faced acute water shortage. My memories are fresh with missing my school just to fetch water.

Please promote water conservation lest nature is going to give us the taste of our own medicine.  For more interesting details, amazing facts, and how to get involved in water conservation please check this website: http://water.org/

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q54a4PCV9Ac . Please don’t skip watching this video. 


Comments on: "Water for Humans !" (13)

  1. Hi Priya, I was touched by your words, and I made a small donation to water.org. I’m aware of this problem, and I’ve done a few little things on my own to try to help. My efforts are so small and the problem is so big, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do.

    First, I live in Southern California where water scarcity is well-known. In our own lives, my husband and I try to conserve water whenever possible. We do have a lawn, but we don’t water it during the summer. We take short showers and have low-flow appliances. My husband sat on our local water board for several years, and he’s even more aware of the problem than I am. Also, I have a blog that suggests ways children (and the rest of us) can help others. I suggest one idea every day, and some of these relate to water conservation.
    I’ve also written a children’s book, THE PRECIOUS GIFT, a retelling of a creation myth from the Navaho about the importance of clean, clear water.

    I’m so sorry that you (and I’m sure millions of others) have had to experience this. Yes, we in the west can be thoughtless and wasteful, and I’m sure I’ve been that way myself at times. All we can do is to keep reminding ourselves to open our hearts to the suffering of other people. Thank you for sharing this painful experience and reminding us again to try to do better.

    • Dear Ellen:

      What a compassionate person you are. I bow to you. You, absolutely, are doing more for the society. Thanks for your encouraging words.
      Lots of love, hugs, prayers

  2. Water is the ultimate resource, and it is sad to see we never stop struggling for it.
    What a beautiful post, Priya.

  3. Hi Priya,
    You brought back the memories of Water Tankers and standing in line …
    I am surely going to share this with my kids, who definately supports No Wastage and recycle. This would encourage them more


  4. A lovely post. We need to be reminded of how blessed we are so that we can properly care for our gifts and share them.

  5. Thank you, Priya, for sharing with us about your experiences and reminding us of what a struggle countless people in the world have to obtain a resource that we take so much for granted.

    Linda Sue Park (Newbery winning author) was the keynote speaker at the writing conference I attended week before last. She, too, shared with us about the desperate water shortage so many people face. Her newest book, A LONG WALK TO WATER, is based on the true story of a man from the Sudan who is trying to fight this battle by digging wells for the villages in his country. Her talk touched my heart, as did your post.

  6. Shivya Ganesh said:

    Mom your blog looks amazing. ~SG

  7. Hi Priya,

    You have put your finger on what is going to soon become the single most common reason why societies breakdown and countries go to wars. The prognosis is not good.

    If we wish to change things we need to, both, be very sensitive about our consumption of water as well as cooperate at local and global levels to share this life giving resource. This calls for much work at multiple levels. I do not imagine that it is going to be easy.

    Good luck to all of us,

    • Hi Ashok:

      Your words are close to the bone. I will do my best in doing my part – propagate, promote and practice water conservation as long as I could.
      Thanks for your contribution.

  8. U have rightly projected the issue of WATER scarsity .. when i was reading your blog, i remembered my child hood days.. we used to play with the kids of other moms standing in such a line along with my grandma in Warangal (a small district in Andrapradesh). so,that is the pathetic situation of people in rural areas of TELANGANA.. and that makes them fight, agitate n strive for their rights. this blog is like a live skit and not just a text or article.

  9. It is so nice to encounter a well-written blog that deals with some real, meaningful issues in the world in a sensitive and informed way. You are so right about the water. Another organization, World Vision, has several ways you can donate toward having a well installed in a dry place that thirsts–the well is designed as a merry-go-round for a playground, and children can ride it while it simultaneously pumps precious water.

    Thank you for your insights and for taking time to address real issues. Keep up the good work!

    • Dear Mel:

      Thanks for your support and encouragement. This beautiful world is our home and we collectively have a duty to protect it and make it a better place.

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