As a child, I hated the rains, though I did brave them. In those times, when an umbrella was a precious possession, I would lose my umbrella and get a scolding for being careless. As a fifth grader, I firmly resolved not to use an umbrella, and managed my time as a school student up to grade ten. I hated the rains because they invariably happened whenever we went on very rare trips or tours.
In 1983, during an unusually long summer, while travelling by train to North India, I was shocked to see coconut palms drooping and their fronds withering in the waterless summer. It was then that I sensed the great blessings of the rains and water.
Water for Life — The Global Scenario
World consciousness collectively responded to the vital significance of water in 1993 with the U.N. observing World Water Day (22 March). The scientific world noticed a missing beat. The normal water cycle involves water in the water bodies, the soil and in the glaciers evaporating or escaping from the trees through transpiration, condensation and then returning to these sources or beneath the earth as ground water. This cycle is disrupted by human interference through ground water extraction, felling of the surface tree cover and construction activities, leading to a rapid run-off and displacement or lowering of ground water level. Further, industrial, agricultural and domestic effluents entering water bodies and ground water have contaminated waters, posing a health hazard.
The realisation of the urgency behind the issue led to SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 6 — Safe Water and Sanitation for All. Water is a basic requirement for everyone, affecting all domains of life, including health, hunger, sanitation, gender equality, jobs, agriculture, industry, transportation, weather, disasters, migration and peace! Hence it has been made part of the global development agenda as the sixth development goal for 2030.
J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.