“The water has moved from providing lives to taking lives.” India runs the risk of facing one of the worst water crisis’ there ever has been. With the stipulated amount of the growing population and the inability to preserve it’s sources of water. Not only has it has greatly threatened the country from a welfare perspective but also at an economical and a political stance. Raising major concerns and scrutinising the plight of the villagers who reside in the remote interiors; TEDx speaker, social activist and solo street play artist Vipul Singh Tapas’ campaign ,‘Project Thirst’ aims towards retaining attention towards this pivotal problem. What is currently brooding into an imminent catastrophe, the documentation showcases the strifes and the struggles that the locals face on the daily. Tapas is a social activist organisation aimed at reforming society through their efforts. It is a compact organisation, with Vipul Singh at its head, joined by Eliza Anjum as the brand manager and content head and Snehdip Biswas as the head of documentation. The organisation works on a two-fold approach; creating awareness as well as on-ground documentation of issues urging people to understand the issue at hand and devise solutions, supplemented by creating a social media conversation around the issue bringing the issue out from the ground level to the urban expanse of the world.
Most of the locals claimed to have witnessed extreme water scarcity. Senior villagers went on to address the dilemma asserting that it dated way yonder the period of Indian Independence. To them groundwater is nothing but an old wives tale, a study revealed that groundwater could be permanently depleted in the approaching year, 2020. The crux of the matter thus lies in the fact that such localities have often been subjected to abject abandonment. Politicians solely see them as reliable and desperate assets. With a view to gain/attain a specific quota of votes, their campaign revolves around frivolously crafted sops (social policies), with zero potential/aspirations of being executed. These feeble minded locals await in angst, they await the time where they don’t have to squabble amongst themselves for a crucial necessity. The ardent belief that water is life has done just the contrary to these victims of circumstance. The scarcity of water has taken away countless lives in the bargain. The harsh reality of the situation being that the villagers in these deprived areas completely reliable to government generated help, such as water tankers. Seldom do these water tankers truly satiate these drought-prone prone areas; rendering their buckets empty and their families thirst longing for a well constructed plan to derive water to their homes. At present, unimpeachable and blameless children wither away due to the toxicity present in the water that they consume. Very rarely do they intake clean, pristine and flowing water, in the documentary they’re seen commuting on legs and trudging into lonely voids to collect stagnant and bacterial infested puddles. The arid weather too, has also been a major factor in this case. This crisis has only shot up, pullulated and augmented by a trifold.
‘Project Thirst’ has thus taken the initiative towards a noble cause and helped garner attention in areas such as – Mhaismal, Galwad, Deola, Pangarne and Dandichibari and other such drought - hit areas in the Nashik district.
Vipul Singh and Snehdip Biswas from the team spent a few days in these villages, finding themselves face to face with the parched reality of the locals. Having lived amongst them and fended off of them, they were moved by their plight and pledged them to do their best and to give an image and a voice, to their plight. Talking about the experience, Vipul Singh, the founder of Tapas exclaims, “The situation there is deplorable to say the least. Many of these families, often amounting six to eight members, have to depend on just a pot or two of water per day. They have to choose between tasks to prioritise to be able to manage. A woman with six kids has to decide which kid gets to bathe on a particular day, leading to many of them not having a bath for days. These people need immediate help, they cannot keep living like this!”
Check out the full documentary below.
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