An open letter to the Minister & Ministry Jal Shakti
Jai Jal Shakti!
A few months ago, I had a published article “We Need Water Walls” bring a laywoman’s perspective to the challenges of safe drinking water to our people and into the lives of our future survival.
Would be happy to share it with you and post on Quora. It could be addressed as your first Blog on a now blank page. Clearly shows you haven t voiced an opinion yet on your newly appointed position or what you want to do with it, so have decided to beat you to the post! May I add in the same breath that I like my water; Shaken and Stirred, Safe and Sacred Sumptuous and Splendid, Sweet and “Shaktigized’!
Now compare this to your personal Quora profile adjectives:
Instinctively Incisive, Insatiable Idea seeker
Inquisitively Innovative & an Impassioned Individual
Searching for Ideas to create an Intellectual India.
Here’s an idea, Sirji, wake up intellectual India and tell them the Universe has spoken the famous lines of S T Coleridge, “water, water, everywhere, nor a drop to drink”! Once you do this, find a way to drink it up to the intellect instinctively, insatiably, innovatively, and make it individually impassioned to act upon it and now!
I was always told by my English teacher (God rest her soul!) unless you put meaning to a word, it simply remains a word. Let’s take two for a start, ‘Jal Shakti’! What does this mean? Power from Water? Powerful that is Water? Or the many countable and uncountable noun interludes by Collins as in ‘capacity, power, nerve, stamina, strength or leverage? Water too, like the God’s, have taken on several avatars of its own, but each one is accountable to its need for our survival. Reminds me of the old song, “ Paani re paani, tera rang kaisa? Jis mein mila doh, mera rang waisa…”. I am looking for the meaning that best assures me and the people, of the ‘shakti’ it provides- sustenance, survival, stamina…..and now this Ministry? What will it do?
Here’s another idea, Sirji, demonetize water! Would that work? Or…umm..how about back to idea number one, waking up the intellect India to recognizing safe drinking water for all its citizens is what will measure the growth of our economy, our people, our children, our future, our cattle, our lands, our thirst …………………………..our survival or our extinction?
Earth is home to millions of species. Only one dominates it. ‘US’. …….so why can’t we have a profound impact on it as well, where it really matters? Our extinction will be created by ‘US’ if there is no water leave alone safe drinking water…. This is becoming repetitive. So be it! We are consuming water, like food, at a rate that is completely unsustainable. Has the intellect of India consumed this fact, yet? What then are our options?
Hurting the Ganges is like hurting a person, a fact highly applauded by Environmentalists as a dictate from our government, but dictates need action, without which it dies. Of course, you know that. So, is water worth fighting for between the politics of water and the power of water activism?
More importantly, when and where do we begin?
I have heard that the Ministry wants to link its rivers n rivulets, tributaries and distributaries and resource the water and safe drinking water at that, to reach every household in India by 2020. Could this be true? Is this the truth the intellect India has woken up to? Drought, scarcity, disease, dearth and death by water, no groundwater, no water…..no water…..no water! So, here you are:
Ministry Jal Shakti to the rescue!
Mr. Shekhawat, whats in your brew?
Safe drinking water at every doorstep in 2020, is it true?
Linking the rivers and waters that flow
From the Ganges to the Bhramaputra in fury it grows!
The beds, the earth, the stones all poisoned
Paying no heed to need or caution
Standing in lines, walking the miles
The tears, the cries, not a single smile
Then pops up a Ministry to WASH n dry
The sadness of its people that drown n shy
From promises of empty vessels at the top
“Quench our thirst” they all cry out
They all say “STOP”!
So, Stop and listen, Mr. Shekhawat
Show us a plan, we’ll pledge a ‘mannat’
20,000 crores are the budget?
Is that what the rivers have suggested?
Redo the numbers, both rivers and budget are contaminated!
It’s the people, the future, the cattle the children
It’s a task, a promise, a pledge to brighten
Intellect India has not awoken
To the cries of ‘live and let live’ that’s all broken
Prana and Paani is mighty Jal Shakti
From nature, to climate, just let it be
Save, harness, resource and deliver
Please do India this needed favor!
The private, the public, the government go hand in hand
Bring out the trumpets and play the band
Can’t live, can’t die
Can’t drown, can’t survive
Linking rivers and people to shores unknown
How do we go ashore if the rivers don’t flow?
The Water companies, both for profit and not for profit
Have watered and washed our needs for benefits
That purifying and desalinating, formulating then distributing
Will be the best course and recourses to save millions
From death and dying wetland sources
Of the water present in our midst, in taps, in rivers, in rivulets
All spiked to degenerate, all infused to segregate
The living from the dead!
I could write the rest of the letter in rhyme that would run our cries dry. Its time or is too late already to replenish to save to give back what we’ve borrowed from our children s heritage? Many have written and many have said and here’s a reminder again that, we have not inherited the earth from our forefathers but borrowed it from our children ….do they know? Is anybody telling them? Shhhh…!
Bedtime stories, I’m told will be about the upcoming Mahabharat water wars and Gabbar water Lords…. stories that will make you thirsty….and there will be none to drink in safety….shhhh!
Ending on challenge questions for you and your team, Mr. ‘Aquaman’, how will the Jal Shakti ministry find a solution? Do you know if there is one? One that is feasible and practical, doable and safe?
If you do, when will you tell us?
An ‘OddNari’ in quest for a watering wishing well, for the children.
Journalist, Writer, Orator, Senior Consultant, Leadership & Communication, Actor, Producer, Activist – An Empowered Woman in quest and fight for needed causes and campaigns. She is based out of both the USA and India.