Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joy of Giving - Card 4 - Week 4 - Water – A precious resource

My childhood friend Rekha who has been diligently following and supporting the Joy of Giving sent me this post by email, since she has taken a short sabbatical from blogging and social networking. 

Her post is reminiscent of her childhood days' struggle for water in Kerala, a land where the rain pours to kingdom come for almost 5 months in a year... Over to Rekha:


Saving water is something after my own heart. Living in rainy Kerala does not necessarily mean that’s plenty of water all around. “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink,” holds true for West Kochi, the place I lived. Drinking or potable water was a perennial problem and I remember lugging pots from as far as the next road during extreme shortages, which were very common.

It was a unifying fact though, never mind if you lived in a huge house or a shanty, you queued up like the others for water. Thankfully, these did not go to the extremes, and since we had a bore well and a well, we did have some kind of water, even if it was not pure.

The worst shortage I came across was in Madras in 2001 when we had gone to my sister-in-law’s place. They lived in posh T. Nagar, home to all the Kollywood stars, but they had absolutely no water. And the water truck came at the earthly hour of around three or four in the morning. Water was stored in every available space, including little tumblers and mugs. And a lot of water was reused and recycled… and that’s when it hit home hard… Use water judiciously or face the consequences.

My husband too has had his share of experiences with water shortage. Palakkad has fierce summers unlike the rest of Kerala, and mostly the deep well in their village home would dry up and they too had to lug water from other places. Thankfully, they have a bore well now and the well never dries up thanks to the bountiful monsoon.

How do I try and save water? I only have bucket baths… and try not to keep the tap running on in full force while washing the vessels. I use a mug of water whenever I remember, for brushing my teeth and use minimum water while washing clothes by hand. I use the washing machine only if there is a full load, and so on and so forth.

I try to do my little bit… and will continue to do so… for who can imagine a life without water?

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