(Feb. 27, 2003)


Concerned about the sorry plight of the Ganga, Kanpur based NGO Eco Friends and Swa Shakti organized a seminar on Ganga Pollution in the village of Usri. Hundreds of rural womenfolk thronged to the meeting.

Addressing the gathering, executive secretary of Eco Friends Rakesh Jaiswal said that the problem of water dearth has become global. Despite the fact that India has numerous rivers and waterbodies, the water crunch prevails in our country as well because most of the freshwater has been contaminated, he added.

Jaiswal told the audience that acquisition and control of water resources has driven communities to migrate since pre-historical times. It was the world’s river basins which first became fully colonized. There is very possibility that in the coming years people will flee from water short scarce areas to the areas that are water abundant, he warned.

He pointed out that drinking water shortage is becoming more and more severe. Women in many Rajasthan villages have to travel long distances to fetch water for domestic use. He also underlined that water in agriculture is underpriced, subsidized or at times provided free of cost. This results in misallocation and inefficient or wasteful use of water. He said that conservation of water can be achieved through drip and sprinkler irrigation.

Jaiswal also informed the villagers about Eco Friends massive programme to clean Kanpur stretch of Ganga from March 16 to March 22 on the occasion of World Water Week.

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