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Conserve water and share it with poor

india Updated: Jun 06, 2011 00:15 IST
Hindustan Times
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Let’s think harder about why we should be greener. Hundreds of people have signed pledges to close taps and waste less of this precious resource. It's a good thing to do per se. But as people living in India, we have to think deeper. All around us, there is acute scarcity of water, and it is unfairly distributed.

Water to wash a car using a pipe is the same a poor family of 5 in a slum uses on a good day for all its needs. Of course, it is impossible to determine if the spare water will be re-allocated. The answer to that is to both conserve water and campaign with the government to supply more water “at least nothing less than what we save-to an identified poor area”. All our green acts must hinge on sharing resources with the poor because in India it is about survival, not tweaking lifestyles. A hard act, but one worth trying.

Mohawk Youth Carries the Cross
Many readers of this column are likely to be born after 1984. Many of you would also have eaten fish. Now imagine you additionally lived in the traditional Mohawk belt in North America-Cananda and the state of New York and belonged to that tribe. Science has bad news for you this World Environment Day.

It says you have much more of the highly toxic and persistent chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated bi-phenyls-used in many industrial applications), than the rest of American youth. Basically, as a 17 to 20 year old young Mohawk, you are burdened with a chemical legacy of something whose production was banned in 1979. Resear-chers, publishing their findings in Chemosphere, have tested a 152 youth rigorously. No one was PCB-free and over half had 13 different types of PCBs in their blood, exposed from industrial activities close to them.

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