India is facing an immediate and unprecedented water crisis. Termed "Dushkal" by experts and activists is an existential crisis when we see seasonal disastrous floods and crushing droughts every year along with stories of suffering population along the shores of every river.
East of Indus or Indian culture is water-centric, water is not just a commodity, but our way of life is dependent on it for its spirituality.
The system of Monsoon is integral to what we are and is a unique phenomenon in defining Indian culture of co-exitance, spirituality, and diversity. Look closely and you will find that- while Sindhu was Hind's guardian warrior to the West, shielding us from the fratricidal corruption coming from the west till he could, the Brahmaputra created the spirituality of the East.
The Ganges coming right from Lord Shiva's hair creates our unique culture and life to the North, her sisters Mighty Narmada and Kaveri gave West and the South a devotional attachment to the land of an epic proportion.
We Indians identify ourselves as "Children of our rivers". Be it Son or Daughter of Ganga, or the Brahmaputra, Narmada or Kauveri, as cousins we follow the same spirituality towards our water systems and historically have been involved in their safeguarding and co-existence as per their wishes. And that builds our binding culture called the Indian culture.
In recent times spanning a couple of centuries, our water systems have been under attack. The whole idea of treating our water systems as a profit-yielding commodity is counter to our culture and literally against the core of us being Indians.
The civilization of Hind has the potential to be a guiding light to the world entangled in a futile debauchery of greed, anger, fascism which is building natural resource crunches and environmental disasters, and might lead all of us to a self-destructing war for survival which aims at the subjugation of nature and humans for the personal amusements of a few overlords, who will control the basic necessities to rule.
India historically has seen a massively evolved scientific approach to our water systems. The battery of ponds built at strategic locations around every community of India by the very people living in the communities to catch the excess water to be used in a very evolved fashion of allocations and rationing as needed tells about the wisdom of people.
The wells connected to these ponds were amazing water purifying systems at work. People were aware of where water will come from, how it will flow and how to catch it and how much to let go into the rivers for a healthy flow. Water defined people of a land.
The flow which was needed to create our unique food culture and Ayurveda, to say the least, is testified in old and new scriptures.
The ability of people to drink water directly from rivers, rivulets, and wells was in direct accordance with Gandhian principals of self-reliance and independence of an individual and is the core to basic human right. When people directly connected to their land and water, it built the culture we all are so proud of.
In the world of RO and bottled water, when we are drinking dead water and are left with no connection and control of 70% of the substance(water) our bodies are made of, our river systems are facing the brunt. While making us corrupt at the core, devoid of culture and spirituality, losing the distinct identities we always had.
Indian water systems are intricate and are built off systems on and underground.
Our cities are unplanned and built over active channels which are ready to blow the buildings apart and inundate cities. Our villages are devoid of water and struggling to survive, Farmers are desparate and rushing for cities, laying settlements building shanty sub cities and slums, losing dignity and struggling to survive.
We have built massive Dams, embankments, and Channels over the very rivers whose flow was existential to the whole Idea of India without even really debating.
Our ponds, lakes, water channels are under encroachment or carrying human and toxic waste. While over the ground its a drought our underground water is a toxic sludge.
Food is getting toxic, cancer, renal, bone structural deformities in old, young and children are exploding, especially along rivers. Cost of living is going higher with medical costs breaking families into poverty. The situation is dire and can lead to a major civil unrest in the country.
We need to support and carry researches on some very basic parameters and evolve them.
When we built Dams did we really calculate the loss of fertile silt against the cost of electricity? and where the demand for that electricity is coming from? Is it Internal need or External servitude?
Is Sons and Daughters of Ganga are strangulating her to run Call centers and Factories producing cheap service and goods for the Western world owing to some currency exchange rate altered by vested interest? Are we not calculating the cost of the loss of culture, values, humanity, food chain, spirituality in us when we let that sewerage drain directly into our sacred water system.
When there is sludge in the river what part of it is coming from products intended for Indian use and what part is coming from cheap exports, subsidized by the demise of rivers.
When our policymakers allowed foreign agro-chemical corporation agents to exploit our farmers and pollute over groundwater systems with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and overexploit underground reserves to create raw materials for an export-oriented economy, did they put the price of land degradation which is leading to the current suicides across the country?
When they launched multinational products laden with chemical, detergents into our communities, wrapped in plastic, did we calculate the actual end of life cost on our land and water systems?
When we buy cheap electronics at the next big billion sales, are we adding to the misery of our water system, when they end up directly in water streams and underground channels? What kind of economics are we following? and should the cost be added to the import and export duty?
What are the best ways to change the water usage behavior of our citizens to get them back to the way we are built culturally and not just an ape subject to a cultural, economic and spiritual onslaught on the path to self-destruction and a slave civilization in a very near future?
What are the impact on local livelihood on the loss of water systems?
What is the impact on flora and fauna and their impact on our lives, culture and well being? Did you notice Hilsa which used to swim till Kanpur is now confined to Padma river in Bangladesh, or Kolkata and Bangladesh seashore is eroding losing land or sinking every passing year because Ganga has lost her flow?
Water in Varanasi is essentially the sewerage from Delhi via the Yamuna while actual Ganga is behind multiple mega Dams built upstream and has lost her identity.
Pani is Kahani is our attempt to change the future of India from that of a struggling nation under environmental catastrophe one after another, weak, ill and struggling population, devoid of their spirituality, under eternal subjugation owing to massive energy demand for the artificial means to survival after the demise of our lifeline - The rivers.
If you are working around any of the river systems, have an opinion on the subject or just concerned about the countries future, contact us to take ownership of the water systems of the area to make a difference.