Dream of every child is to study and become someone who is educated, dignified, carries respect in society and is self-sufficient. It is fundamentally right also. But even before the journey begins, like a dream, it already ends like a dream for millions of children living in rural villages.
As a nation we have been struggling with atrocities on girl child. Campaigns like ‘Save Girl Child’ have made all of us conscious and also cautious. Women and girls across the world collectively spend about 200 million hours every day, collecting water i.e. 200 million hours – or more than 22,800 years – every day collecting this vital resource.
But here the matter is not about girl child. Issue is about who fetches fresh drinking water from considerable distances since most of the villages in India do not have drinking water wells anymore. If the child goes daily to fetch drinking water, alone or along with her mother, when will the child go to school.
The number of steps the child travels to fetch water is almost equal to the drops of water the vessel can carry.
If you think that scaling mountains every single day to secure drinking water is a myth in present-day India, it is time you think again. Reports emerging from Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district reveal how boys and girls as young as 11 years of age have to climb down a nearly 70 feet deep open well for a single pitcher of water.
For children who are sent by their parents to fetch water from the well which usually touches the ground in summer, putting their lives in danger is now part of their daily routine.
The wells in the villages were identification of how much deep is the water below the earth… Today it only counts how much deep you can dig the well to get water.
Are we thinking our child will get enough water to drink even if we still think casually ? Forget about it.
As we say, Save Water – Before we mine it like a metal…
“Manthan”, an initiative by Hindustan Zinc, is a series of stories to bring awareness about various concerns like air pollution, water pollution, plastic pollution, noise pollution, climate change, road safety and wildlife protection.
(Pavan Kaushik is the Head – Corporate Communication at Hindustan Zinc)
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