In the penultimate episode of his chat show, the actor explains why it is important to realise that saving water is vital to life
Rivers are holy, according to Indian culture. Yet, we are treating them like garbage bins by pouring industrial, medical and other waste into them. The country gets adequate monsoon, yet there is water shortage in almost every village, town and city. A large stretch of Yamuna is officially dead as is the Ganga. Apparently, we Indians are the only ones who treat rivers in such a callous manner. Rivers world over – in countries including the UK, the US, Australia and Singapore – are respected and kept clean.
These are just some of the points that Aamir Khan makes in the twelfth episode of his show Satyamev Jayate. The problem, he says, is far more dangerous than we believe it to be. One of his guests was Ravi Agarwal from Toxic Links in New Delhi who explained how polluting the water with toxic wastes, especially lead, can be dangerous to health. Farmers grow their crops using the polluted river water. When we consume those vegetables and fruits, the toxicities enter our system and can affect motor co-ordination in children and even foetuses. The current generation’s lack of concern has already begun to affect the next generation. There are laws to tackle this but no one is enforcing them.
Aamir does not just enumerate the problem. He gives a workable solution. He proves that it is not impossible to reverse this water shortage, whether you are in the city or in the village. The solution is simple: rainwater harvesting. Aamir talks to several community leaders and an IAS officer from Chennai who have taken the initiative to harvest rainwater in housing societies, villages and even an entire state. All that is needed are strong political will and unity among the people.