A population of 1.3 billion and counting demarcate a nation, which boasts to have world’s largest loitering democracy. It is a democracy where the rightful citizens have a distinct fundamental right to do what they can pertain to, at their utmost potential. Proudly, with 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population despite having a smaller population than China. This very criterion marks us as a ‘Developing Nation’ despite our tall claims of industrialization and modernization. In such a rush where India sandwiches between the pressure of being a western supermarket, and a carrier of its age-old tradition, it fails to realize the fathoms of the deep valley created, which corrodes its own resources. People develop, but Nation lingers.
What gets affected most in this urban clash is the vast resource of water and its effective sustainable management. As the nation expands its density, so expands its demands and requirements. And it is a very presumable fact that to fulfill the constraint of over a billion people is breathtaking. It’s no different than a blessing that the nation has been endowed with a varied extensive water supply which stretches from the mighty Ganges in north to the gigantic Brahmaputra in north-east; the colossal Cauvery in the south to the vast Godavari in centre; the mammoth Himalayan glaciers and the incessant stretches of groundwater. The potent skills are most needed in unruffled management of such a comprehensive stretch of this irreplaceable resource. The Government of India has taken various measures for efficacious planning and management of water right from the National Water Policy, formulated by the Ministry of Water Resources in 1987 to the National Water Mission and the various awareness campaigns undertaken such as ‘Jal Manthan’, ‘Jal Kranti’ and ‘Ganga Rejuvenation’ programmes. In company with this, the Central Ground Water Board, Central Water Commission and Water Quality Assessment Authority, along with their counterparts at the state level, has taken some strict means to manage this precious resource. But, leaving aside all the steps taken by the Government and its agencies, there is also an important role of the individuals and especially the youth in proper planning and management of water. At this high time, it is utmost essential for the youth of India to step out and spread the word, “Save Water! Save Life! Safe Water! Safe Life”.
With world’s largest youth mob, India has ultimate potentials to revolutionize the globe. The clock already ticks the time when more of the growing India should be involved in the system. Areas should be discovered to draw in a large segment of the school and college goers, and include them into the mainstream. In other words it is an investment of society which continues ceaselessly. By creating awareness about the fragility of the water resources and introducing the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management at an early age, the education can be considered as a cross cutting theme. Consider life of a student named Ashu here who is a student of 4th grade. The study of Environmental Education has already been added to his curriculum which teaches him to curb the wastage of water. As his age advances, he is taught about the limited nature of water resources, its sustainable use, various water cultivation methods being used, and finally, he is able to make out the real significance of water and the cost nation pays to treat a pool of contaminated fluid. This education finally pays off when he knows that he can now at least contribute for his half towards the nation’s priceless economy. What if compared to a student, who never studied about water, will never know the importance of water, be Arun. Now, Ashu will try to compensate all the loss of water he makes every day and will even convince his buddies not to do so. On the other hand, Arun will still leave taps open and will roam unaffected by the loss conceived through him. Eventually, Ashu is made a better citizen than Arun just because he has a better understanding of Environmental Education.
Studies often seem to be boring stuff to the Gen X today. The study of Water Management in schools not only should emphasize the theoretical aspects of the subject but the pragmatic aspect too. Practicality and its flawless imbibitions should be the main emphasis of the high schools. Besides, the other major components that attract the younger generations like magnet, is technology. Everything related to technology makes them crazier and the invention of social media adds fuel to the flame. Facebook in today’s date, permits organization of events and campaigns involving safety of water, different rainwater harvesting projects, cutting down of pollutant injection in water bodies etc. Even many apps are provided which persuade them to use water efficiently without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, the sole aim of Sustainable Development. The Younger India found in the Engineering Colleges is also trying to develop certain technologies which can assist further in this approach of Water Management. There’s a popular saying which goes, ‘the younger, the sharper’. Involvement of the youth incorporates many brilliant minds that innovate many new devices and implements that can transfigure the complete trouble people have doing it manually. Recently they developed the SCADA system which stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA system has been configured to control various equipments and monitor the water throughout this entire process. Analog and digital input and output modules connect to level transducers that track water levels in large reservoirs and tanks. A technician oversees the SCADA systems that monitors and controls all water and reclaimed water for the city. Distributing intelligence in this manner also provides a safeguard in case there’s an interruption in the operation of one of the main controllers. The brain can be instructed to continue to record measurements and perform calculations, and operators can continue to view this data from the control center. With younger intervention and an appetite for more technology, such devices can seriously reduce the work load to a much lesser extent. There are also other technologies developed like HydroMetric Calculators which can calculate the amount of water utilized in the household and what is the amount of water estimated for the particular household, violation of which could lead to strict legal action. This is however just a beginning to the new e-chapter of the world. With the inclusion of more and more environmentally aware youth to the society, the scopes of efficient water management gets higher.
The Constitution of India laid some fundamental rights, of which every Indian was equally sanctioned. Even the people had eye for an eye if any other party tried to interrupt in their rights. Side by side, they were also asked to abide by some fundamental duties, which they had to dispose as dutiful citizens of the nation. While accepting the right to use the national resource of water, people often tend to forget that this is not they have bequeathed from their forefathers all for themselves, but for the forthcoming generations too. Moreover, water is also a scanty resource, whose sharing and distribution requires a regulatory framework. Involvement of youth in the framing of such fundamental duties, which asks them to come out and do their part of contribution in suggesting laws on embankment, drinking water supply, irrigation, floods, water conservation, water pollution, fisheries and ferries. There can also be the participation of young civil engineers who can suggest construction of new methods of more efficient water harvesting systems comprising of better laid and high storage catchment area, diametric conduits and numerous receptors with integrated water filtration. In addition to provision of adequate amount of water, cleanliness of water is also to be kept in mind and young pathologists can coherently take up the job. Thus youth can take an important step in the Integrated Water Management, involving all Hydrospherical, Lithospherical and Atmospherical resources.
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” - The Bible
Humans after all did not create water. Nor do we have a right to let it go extinct. So, why not in this short span of ours let’s think over all we can do to save this venerated asset. Look out. Dream out. A new mature India is waiting to commence over the fumes of the amateur Bharat. It will rise from the tranquil waves of Ganga merging with the intellects, plunging deep into the ocean of life where crudeness meets puberty.
“Into that heaven of freedom, My Father, Let my country awake.” - RabindraNath Thakur