#WorldWaterDay: India’s Children In Search Of Water

Cape Town in South Africa will be the world’s first major city to run out of water, as the “Zero Hour” on 15th July 2018, looms closer. India, amongst several other countries, is in tow to follow suit. As climate change makes its impact felt across India and the world, water scarcity – a direct result, continues to spread like an epidemic. Children face some of the fiercest risks arising from these conditions. Especially vulnerable are the children on the fringes of the society – further marginalized by having no access to safe, hygienic and potable water.

What does this mean?

It means that their little feet will have to bear the heat of the scorching earth as they traverse farther in search of drinking water.

It means that they will have no sanitation facilities and will have to make their way to river banks, fields, train tracks and dingy alleyways to use as make-shift toilets; making themselves prone to several risks such as harassment, diseases, and accidents.

It means that water borne diseases such as diarrhoea will continue to claim their lives.

It means that food production will suffer, rendering those at the grass roots as the worst victims.

It means that their every day existence will continue to be an embittered battle for survival.

Here are some telling photographs from across the country that capture the battle for survival, of India’s children in search of water.

A village boy bathes in the remaining water of a dried pond to beat the heat in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar (Photo: Biswaranjan Rout/NurPhoto/Getty Images)
A village boy bathes in the remaining water of a dried pond to beat the heat in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar (Photo: Biswaranjan Rout/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

 

A little girl carries a metal pitcher filled with water through a field in drought-hit Latur n iMaharashtra (Photo: Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters)
A little girl carries a metal pitcher filled with water through a field in drought-hit Latur n iMaharashtra (Photo: Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters)
In a drought-affected village in Dindhori, Madhya Pradesh, children can be seen climbing down the walls of an almost dried-up well to fetch the remaining water. (Photo: Divyakant Solanki / EPA/Corbis Images)
In a drought-affected village in Dindhori, Madhya Pradesh, children can be seen climbing down the walls of an almost dried-up well to fetch the remaining water. (Photo: Divyakant Solanki / EPA/Corbis Images)

 

Catching the last fish in a lake gone dry for the first time in a decade in Maharashtra (Photo: Aditya Waikul)
Catching the last fish in a lake gone dry for the first time in a decade in Maharashtra (Photo: Aditya Waikul)

 

A girl carries a pitcher after filling it with drinking water from a “virda”, a small opening made by villagers manually to collect water, from the dried-up Banas river at Sukhpur village, north of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. At least 30 virdas have been dug up by villagers in the river. Villagers walk two and a half kilometres to draw drinking water from them, and they say it takes 30-40 minutes to fill a five-litre jar. Occasionally the villagers get their supply of drinking water from municipal tankers but most of the time they depend on the virdas before the monsoon arrives in the region. (Photo: Amit Dave/ Reuters)
A girl carries a pitcher after filling it with drinking water from a “virda”, a small opening made by villagers manually to collect water, from the dried-up Banas river at Sukhpur village, north of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. At least 30 virdas have been dug up by villagers in the river. Villagers walk two and a half kilometres to draw drinking water from them, and they say it takes 30-40 minutes to fill a five-litre jar. Occasionally the villagers get their supply of drinking water from municipal tankers but most of the time they depend on the virdas before the monsoon arrives in the region. (Photo: Amit Dave/ Reuters)
A boy who migrated from drought hit areas of Maharashtra carries water to his family's makeshift hut in Kukse Borivali, 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Mumbai. Decades of groundwater abuse, populist water policies and poor monsoons have turned vast swaths of central and western India into a dust bowl, driving distressed farmers to suicide or menial day labor in the cities. (Rafiq Maqbool/ AP Photo)
A boy who migrated from drought hit areas of Maharashtra carries water to his family’s makeshift hut in Kukse Borivali, 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Mumbai. Decades of groundwater abuse, populist water policies and poor monsoons have turned vast swaths of central and western India into a dust bowl, driving distressed farmers to suicide or menial day labor in the cities. (Photo: Rafiq Maqbool/ AP)
Piryanka fetches water in Malegaon village, Parbhani district in Maharashtra. (Photo: Amit Haralkar)
Piryanka fetches water in Malegaon village, Parbhani district in Maharashtra. (Photo: Amit Haralkar)
Children from the village of Kankroli look for shells in the dried out bed of the Rajsamand lake near Udaipur in India’s drought-hit state of Rajasthan. The lake has dried up for the first time in living memory. Thousands of villages in Rajasthan are facing an acute shortage of water and animal feed with most sources of water having dried out in what is seen to be the worst drought in 100 years. (Photo: Unknown)
Children from the village of Kankroli look for shells in the dried out bed of the Rajsamand lake near Udaipur in India’s drought-hit state of Rajasthan. The lake has dried up for the first time in living memory. Thousands of villages in Rajasthan are facing an acute shortage of water and animal feed with most sources of water having dried out in what is seen to be the worst drought in 100 years. (Photo: Unknown)

 

Water levels in wells is so low that one cant get enough water from a pail. A girl got into the well to fetch water at a remote village about 180 km from Mumbai. (Photo: Aditya Waikul)
Water levels in wells is so low that one cant get enough water from a pail. A girl got into the well to fetch water at a remote village about 180 km from Mumbai. (Photo: Aditya Waikul)
Photo Credits : Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters

Words By : Leher

Leher

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