Save Water

Can water scarcity directly impact women’s education and freedom?

Paani- it is so ironic that in its very name the doom of water or paani is written. Yes Paa- ni can literally translate into ‘unable to get water’. Just too soon our water tables will dry up and the only thing running will be the thirst. In our house, in our town, in our country. What it is guaranteed to run down also is Women’s education and freedom too!

Cactus

How?
Except for the odd day when the municipality forgets to open the supply to our house. Or the time we are on a road-trip across some deserted terrain and we can’t find drinking water. We seldom realize the importance of water’s absence. True, isn’t it? Well may be for a very small percentage of people across the globe it is.

-But in reality there are more than 844 million people without access to clean water. Yes that is an estimate according to the joint report of WHO/UNICEF in 2017.

-According to the reports of recent National Sample Survey Organization, in rural India only 30% of households have access to tap drinking water. Which means majority of the population is dependent on tube wells. And who do you think is responsible for collecting water for each household? The womenfolk!

Unbelievable? 
Well believe it. I have grown up in Shimla, where water scarcity hit us every Summers. Water tankers were the norm of the day. And if one water tanker was to enter one neighbourhood, one could spot scores of women and kids lined up for their chance. If you were lucky, the tanker -man would insert the pipe into the overhead tanks. Else all the buckets came out and were carried home one by one. Yes this is the water story from Shimla- the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The queen of hills.

And sadly it is no different from water woes across other cities, states and village of India. And that is what this awesome campaign of #CuttingPaani also shows :


How does it connect to Women’s education and freedom?

The fight for female education becomes harder- in a nation where even in the 21st century we are still educating people with "Beti Bachao and Beti Padao" ( save a girl child and teach a girl child), the fight complicates when the women and girl child are burdened with the responsibly of collecting water and finishing household chores- 

-Do you know women in rural India on an average are forced to walk more than 10 miles to fetch water for their household?

-Women standing next to a community well or a borewell or ghats or digging sand to collect water is a common sight.

-These women are then forced to carry buckets, pots and more on their head or balance them on their waist to carry it back home. And they could be making multiple rounds in one day, often 4-5.

-So imagine if a woman is forced to take these water-collecting trips, on an average one trip can be 30 minutes or more, when does she go to school or office? Yes ideally this should be shouldered by both men and women and we can endlessly debate about equality. But the current scenario is what I present to you.

-The problem of arranging for water for households in rural India is so huge that a new gadget ‘Well the Waterwheel’ was invented to help out. The company has made a big round portable tank with wheels under it. It helps carrying water across miles easily.)



Can under CSR, the corporates adopt one school each in drought hit villages or places with water scarcity areas? Can the availability of safe drinking water and the option of bathing in schools be a big draw for the girl child to attend school? Would it be a big motivation for the family too.


Water, hygiene and the freedom to be- a girl child’s freedom to get educated and to step out of her house is severely compromised due to lack of water -

-In India making a movie Padman is a brilliant idea towards educating people about menstruation and its acceptability. But in reality the debate has just started and will take years for it to be seen as anything but taboo.
-In a nation where menstruating females are not allowed in religious places, kitchens or even allowed to touch pickle and food, going to school is next to impossible. Exactly why we see the percentage of girl child dropouts increase, once they hit the puberty age.

-Also with no access to water and clean water, it can be embarrassing for the women to head out without cleanliness.

-Lack of safe water and clean water also exposes the womenfolk to bacteria and dirt in the stagnant water bodies. Again that would mean missing out on school days because of illness.

Mindful ways of saving water

Can we help?
Yes! Instead of looking to the government for solutions for all our woes, we need to talk some concrete action.

1) CuttingPaani- Being mindful of our use of water is the first and most critical point.

-Carry your water bottle with you and refill it for multiple use.

-If you order water in a restaurant make sure to carry the left over water in the bottle with you. It is not about being a miser or cheap. It is about saving the planet and saving water.

-Reuse water- yes use the mop-water to water your plants. Empty kids water bottles into flower pots instead of the wash basins.

-Instead of digging bore-wells, equip your house, society with rain-water harvesting. Can you even imagine what would happen if all the rain-water is tapped and it finds its way back into our water-table.

-More trees need to be planted so we can tap in more moisture and complete the water cycle.

2) Increase the water-tariff.

-Water is a scarce resource, yet our water bills are equal to our internet billing. Make it more precious so people think twice before wasting it.

-Especially for Spas, swimming pools and recreational activities that press on our already scarce water resources, we need extra taxes.

3) Make the privileged pay for the unprivileged without feeling the burden.

-Through a social campaign, people in New York were encouraged to donate $1 for each glass of clean water they could just drink from their taps. This money was then collected and water with this money was distributed in Africa in drought hit regions. 

- In Africa a man relentlessly takes a water tanker and fills the waterhole for animals in the wild. Yes someone needs to think about the wild too.


4) Can under CSR, the corporates adopt one school each in drought hit villages or places with water scarcity areas? Can the availability of safe drinking water and the option of bathing in schools be a big draw for the girl child to attend school? Would it be a big motivation for the family too.

-These can be model schools with self-sustaining water projects. From creating artificial lakes, water catchment areas to rain-water harvesting and more in these schools, the corporates can empower these kids to change their and their regions destiny. 

Will all this help?
Every drop of water that we save by #CuttingPani can become a girl child’s step towards her school.
In every household that gets safe drinking water through taps in their house, we are helping a girl or a woman find her freedom to live with dignity. We lift the burden off her shoulders and we create Sheroes like Neerja Bhanot, or closer home champions like Pareen Verma

So make CuttingPaani a way of life and help empower women. And join the initiative of fighting water scarcity wth Livpure on Indiblogger platform. By signing this petition, you can be a part of this awesome campaign. 

Comments (19)

Journey Posted on Jul 21, 2018

This arcitle keeps it real, no doubt.

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Salma Posted on May 01, 2018

Such an important topic!

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Ishieta Posted on Apr 01, 2018

great initiative. the water wheel is such a simple and helppful innovation.. i wonder why its taken us so long to come up with it! definitely something i will be more mindful of too now.

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Sudeshna Bhattacharya Posted on Mar 27, 2018

Wonderful read. The topic is very close to my heart.

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Aesha Shah Posted on Mar 27, 2018

That is definitely food for thought. While we create awareness about conservation of water among kids, but you have rightly pointed out the impact of scarcity of water on women too. This is a timely article to create awareness when we read in newspapers how lack of water is going to affect us.

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Sonya Posted on Mar 26, 2018

This is an awesome post. I think it\'s easy to take water for granted and not realize what an impact it has on the lives of others!

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Tamanna Posted on Mar 25, 2018

What a wonderful write up. Totally agree with all the points about saving water. With so many water resources drying up, it is definitely the need of the hour. Let\'s all do this before there is no water left for us.

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Dixya @food, Pleasure, And Health Posted on Mar 25, 2018

yesss i come from a country where water scarcity was real.....i have definitely taken things for granted while living in the US but the struggle is still there. thank you for this reminder.

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Kavita Singh Posted on Mar 25, 2018

we need to start working towards saving water before the situation gets any more worse. Water is a necessity and the way it is treated nowadays is absolutely unacceptable I am sharing this with my friends so they can follow all these too in order to save more water as and when possible.

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Neha Tambe Posted on Mar 24, 2018

This is a scary state of affairs. Water is such an essential life saver. You have tied it up so well with woman\'s plight and how we can do our bit.

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Sharvari Paivaidya Mehan Posted on Mar 24, 2018

Such a well constructed article. This is one cause that I stand for. Saving water is essential. Using the water sources without wastage and rain water harvesting is a must.

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Swetha Shenoy Posted on Mar 23, 2018

I like that this effort has a dual message. Both very much needed!

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Minakshi Bajpai Posted on Mar 23, 2018

Absolutely agree water is life. You have share a powerful message through this post

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Judy Posted on Mar 23, 2018

Fresh water is a necessary commodity that we have to learn and value. Your point about water scarcity and its impact on women is worth considering.

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Ruksana Posted on Mar 22, 2018

This is a great share especially with today being World Water Day. The severity of the issue is lost on so many that are completely oblivious to the actual scenario!!

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Varsh Posted on Mar 22, 2018

I try and make my kids value water. No running taps, using bath water with precaution, staying hydratee but no wastage, etc. Water scarcity hits us every year. We need to be careful about minimising loss.

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Jheelam Posted on Mar 22, 2018

A thoughtful and timely post indeed. Now summer is hitting hard, the whole country is going to reel under water scarcity. Just thinking about it makes one scared for the future.

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Nayantara Hegde Posted on Mar 21, 2018

Very interesting thought how water relates to women\'s development. Also I liked your ideas of saving water.GOing to take some pointers from there.

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Tazim Damji Posted on Mar 21, 2018

Well-written article and lots of great reasons listed why we should be #cuttingpani

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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