I care about…



Or to put it better, the water situation in Bangalore. I care about it, and worry about it. I wonder how it must be for those people who can’t get a glass of clean, drinkable water. And how long before all of us are in that situation.

To add to it all, husband sent me this link. According to the authorities, Bangalore has just enough water for the next 15 to 18 days. That is scary. I know, some might wonder why I’m so bothered, when I don’t even live there right now. But I can’t help but care. If its Bangalore today, it is likely to be somewhere else tomorrow. Isn’t it time that we did something about it? Especially when it is something that will affect us eventually, however insulated we might think we are.

My domestic help in Bangalore used to tell me how difficult it was for. The days when they got water, they would be up at 3, to catch and store water. Missing that time would mean no water for them, until the next supply day, whenever it was, because they didn’t even get water everyday. She would tell me how her heart broke when she saw children leaving the taps on, and the parents turning a blind eye. I wonder how they must feel coming to work to our swanky apartments, with swimming pools and water features.. when they don’t even get the bare minimum amount of water. Husband was telling me that he had read somewhere that in India, if we do have a civil war, it was likely to be over water. When you see such disparity, it does start to look rather likely. Of course, today, a lot of us are forced to buy tankers of water, because there is no government supply, but if we go on without a care, it is more than likely that even money would not be able to buy that precious resource – water.

One of things that I wish I could do is try and make some difference to the water situation. I did not face the brunt of the water shortage in Bangalore, because I had left by then, but I did try to do what I could. Sensible use of water, in every way I could, reuse of RO water, having only bucket baths, teaching daughter to conserve water… I wish I could do more, something that would make a real difference, beyond the little everyday things.

Despite all the individual measures that we could take, the issue is such a huge one, that we need a collective effort. I know that there are several groups of people working towards resolving this, but unless the government takes it up on a war footing, nothing will really change. While individuals and citizens groups can make a difference, governments can do so much more. Rain water harvesting across board, ensuring that all buildings confirm to water saving guidelines, maintenance of water pipes, water meters made mandatory in all apartments to prevent misuse of water… The way we have carbon foot print offsetting, how about water usage offsetting for huge consumers like hotels and large apartments? Construction permission given only when there is enough drinking water for everybody. So many things that can make a huge difference. Makes me wonder why our governments are so lethargic even when faced with such a drastic situation.

A friend was telling me how Chennai tackled its depleting water levels problem by a massive rain water harvesting program. And apparently today, the water situation is much better there, than it was a decade ago. If one Indian city could do this, what is stopping the others from emulating? The only reason I can see is the reluctance to anything unless it reaches the point of no return.

The only silver lining is the people’s involvement in all these issues, at least in Bangalore, from what I have seen. The 9-10 months that I lived there has made me optimistic that despite governance bodies that do nothing, there are people’s groups who care deeply and are making a difference. Hopefully, one day, the government will wake up to the seriousness of the issue and take some big steps. Until then, I guess we can do our bit, in whatever way we can. After all every little will help.

Posted as part of May Photo a Day Challenge.

22 thoughts on “I care about…

    • I’m sure most of us do all this. Its only a small minority who doesn’t care. But I wish we had some larger scale planning happening in India, that worked to prevent such situations.

  1. I also saw that 15-20 days water for blore report and I was like WTH!!!
    Aren’t u bang on about the maids?? I had this Maid who used to come from far off. She would wake up at 4 to fill water then she used to finish her household chores before coming to our place for work. Thinking of plight of these ppl it self shud make us a little more aware towards saving water!!!

    • And yes loads shud and can be done provided there is a will but sadly we as a country do not work towards a colution unless the problem is totally on our heads!!!

      • True. That is what makes it worse. Plans for rain water harvesting should have been put in place 10 years ago, really. But who cares beyond the next elections.

  2. Yes, indeed the situation is pretty bad. And that’s saying the least. After living in Bangalore for the past 7yrs, this situation hit me only after I moved to Marathahalli. The amount of water that is being bought by people is incredible(in a bad way). Its a huge business. You don’t get water even after drilling 150-200ft. And rain water harvesting is one of the best methods to cope up with the growing needs. But unless people learn to use it properly, no amount of water will suffice.

    And why can’t Bangalore do a Chennai in rain water harvesting.?? Because the people who are supposed to make that happen are the same people involved in the water mafia.

    • Exactly. The powers that be are in cahoots with the water mafia. Such a sad situation that one of the basic necessities of life has become such a commodity that they have a mafia for it. Welcome here Kanthu

  3. Water scarcity problem is not confined to Bangalore,but a matter of concern for the whole country. It is really sad that a problem of such magnitude is not being solved. Every thing is taken so casually by the authorities. The sufferer is the common man.

  4. I agree that Bangalore is a lot more spirited and aware that way, working to achieve solutions.
    But I was shocked myself to hear about this situation of 15-18 days’ water left!! 😯 I mean what on earth were they thinking??!! OMG!!

    I know! Scary, isn’t it?

    It’s true, each one of us can contribute to this situation to make the world a better place. Wish the authorities took better notice of the situation, and made amendments and processes for this, which people followed as well.

    I wish that too! The authorities taking it seriously would make such a huge difference.
    My maids have the same situation…. they store water in the mornings before they come for work, and then go to collect water in the evening as well. But atleast they do get water, which is unlike what I’ve heard about a lot of others living in jhopdis.

    I know, we can only count our blessings when we hear of stories like that..

    • Have no idea what is going to happen after that. I guess water tankers will procure water from where ever they can, making a mess of the already dire situation.

  5. The situation is indeed bad even in Mumbai. There are water cuts and electricity cuts. If you have one, the other is off. My parents have got a bore-well pump installed and it provides water for toilets and bathrooms so that drinking water is saved.

      • when i was in raipur , i was told how the politicians and the local power do not want to see the people having a mohalla commitee and having a community . politicians are happy as long as there is a disruptive society. they want the people to remain disorganized and will threaten those who are trying to bring about citizen governance. their hunchmen are their spies ! the powers want the people to be powerless. india is poor for a reason – becasue the powers want them to stay poor and if the people become rich, the rich will become poor. the only dreams that the poor/middle class is allowed to have is more poverty, fear, low self esteem, religions helpless ness, the list goes on

  6. The water situation in Bangalore is scaring me out of my wits, honestly. We have been looking for a flat for my parents, as you know, and most of the apartments have every conceivable facility except running water!! My parents come from a generation who cannot live without running water 24/7. It will take time for them to get used to the situation here.

    I know! We were discussing that the other day, weren’t we? It will take them time to get used to it. Sigh.

    The other day, a knob was accidentally closed in our apartment, and in spite of the motor pumping, there was no water getting filled in the overhead tank. Hence, no water in our houses till the knob was discovered and turned on. We all had the scare of a lifetime, thinking that the water supply has got depleted. Now, I think, maybe that was a precursor to the times to come? Scary, indeed.

    I can imagine how scary that must have been! I had a tiny taste of this in the last few days we were in Bangalore.

    You are bang on about the maids! I try to imagine their situation many a time!

    It is rather sad that people still waste water in spite of reports coming in from all corners about the depleting water supply. We do try to take whatever little steps we can, to save water. Every drop counts, but, like you say, I wish efforts were taken up on a war footing! Heck, the situation warrants it!

    The situation certainly warrants it! That is for sure.

  7. the whole india is in a drought like situation, but there is none who will be a leader and take initiativ and solve the problem. the problem remains unsolved year after year till the system breaks.

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