Called as ‘Young Voices of the Earth’, youngsters from diverse background came up with a charter of concerns and a call for action after learning and discussing the issue of water on the eve of the World Environment Day.
The concerns expressed by the youngsters varied from ‘availability of clean and safe water for all’ to ‘there should be equal distribution of water irrespective of the urban-rural or rich-poor divide’.
They also offered suggestions like ‘putting metres for every kind of water use to check wastage … even on water fountains’.
Earlier, during the daylong workshop, the youngsters between 10 to 25 years discussed various aspects related to water.
“…What do you think when you say ‘water’? What does water mean to us? What is at stake? Do we want to safeguard only people’s survival?”
The exchange was an eye-opening experience for many.
Ajit Kumar (name changed) remembered his days when he visited his native village and said, “My friends there were surprised to know we in the city have to buy water.”
One of the resource persons Razia Ismail Abbasi recalled an experience where during a painting programme for slum children, most of the boys painted taps near their houses but outside.
“They were not even aware that taps are supposed to be inside and available for individual family,” she added.
Nitya Jacob, author of ‘Jalyatra’, a book exploring India’s traditional water management systems, highlighted how the problem is not related to shortage of water but more with bad or poor management of resources.