“And Darkness was upon the face of the Deep….” Says the Bible as it describes the beginning of a watery world. The ancient Indian text, the Rig Veda speaks of the beginning as a world of bottomless, uninterrupted, and limitless water’.
Water nourishes washes, cleans, and clears. No wonder many ancient cultures worship water as the foremost of the elements. This blog seeks to focus attention on various aspects of water and ways to preserve it.
Over 2/3 of the human body is made of water. Imagine, the brain is 75% water, blood is 83% water, bones 22%, muscles 75% water and lungs 90%! A decrease of 2% in our body’s water content can cause serious health problems.
Over 6000 children die every day due to polluted water. These are easily preventable deaths. It is said that the next Great War will be fought over water, as we overuse, pollute and waste water. So let us take personal responsibility to save water.
The Rotary Convention in Sao Paulo drew attention to the second largest river in the world – the Amazon. We had an exciting series of journeys across the river recently. Over 6280 kms long, it is formed in the North Peru Andes. It flows across North Brazil before entering the Atlantic Ocean near Belem. This majestic river stretches across over 15 kms in Manaos. It covers and waters over 4,75,000 sq.kms of South America, North Brazil, Bolivia, Pem, Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela. It has an average depth of 150 ft.
Its water and rich fertile silt has created the largest rain forest in the world, with the most diverse collection of animals, birds and insect life in the world. The tropical climate is tempered by heavy rainfall and the abundant life it engenders.
Trees full of chattering monkeys leaping and clinging to lush green trees with their tails, vivid clouds of butterflies, carnivorous, piranhas, the mysterious giant anaconda strangulating its prey on the jungle floor, are all parts of its creation. During July -August the frail speed boat takes you through carpets of flowers, as thick hanging creepers and lianas, hang from ancient trees and float around you to brush your shoulders as you pass.
The river is the life giving element of the lush rain forest. Polluting the river with human and industrial wastes threatens the life of millions of inhabitants of this land of which Man is the most rapacious. The destruction of the rain forest threatens not only the many life forms it supports but also contributes to an increase in atmospheric carbon di-oxide. Global warming is the immediate consequence. Those of us who live beside water bodies have a special duty to prevent such pollution. Deforestation disrupts the lives of inhabitant people whose livelihood depends on the produce of the jungle.
What can you do?
• Remember the river is not a garbage dump, it is a source of drinking water for millions. Start or join a citizens group that works to keep the river clean.
• You can help keep the river clean by being part of a patrolling body on the river banks.
• Attend river festivals and work with groups that prevent littering.
• Identify and talk to industries which discharge effluents into the river.
• Network with Government bodies which are working to clean up the river.
• Encourage any philosophy that develops reverence for the river, religious or otherwise.
• Prevent the building of toilets close to the river and work to prevent open defecation by the river
Hope you enjoy reading it. Looking forward to hearing from you.