On the one hand:
Since 1950, the government has spent INR 3.5 lakh crore on building dams and reservoirs over major rivers. Maharashtra is the state with the highest number of dams in the country, with many in 17 of its most drought-prone districts. Most of these were built after 1972. And despite half of these areas receiving more rain than they did in 1972, in this year Maharashtra is facing the worst drought since 1972. [!]
On the other:
Here’s a message I got recently.
The Indian Premier League, IPL 6 (this season) runs for 8 weeks. Severely drought-hit Maharashtra hosts 16 matches. Each week, 3,00,000 litres of water is required for the grass & pitches. So for matches hosted in Maharashtra, IPL 6 will consume 48 lakh litres of water. [!]
Yet a shameless, traitor, if I may, called rajiv shukla, who is the IPL chairman and who also happens to be Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, GoI rubbished demands to reconsider holding of the games. He said “IPL matches do not consume so much of water that there will be drought. People in Mumbai should consume less water in their bungalows.” [!]
On one hand:
The Chief Minister’s drought relief fund has so far managed to collect around INR 55 crore. [!]
On the other:
Nearly USD 11.9 mn (about INR 65 crore) was spent on 37 players in IPL 6. The IPL match passes retail at anything between INR 500 – 19,500. [!]
On one hand:
We, in cities and towns, the highly educated, highly qualified, the ones capable of rational thought; we had the choice of discouraging IPL in any manner necessary, knowing that it would further significantly affect millions of lives.
On the other hand:
Many, if not most of you continue to enjoy watching the IPL matches.
Even as people are dying in some obscure part of Maharashtra.
Even as there are growing concerns by drought-hit people over the possibility of girls from these areas being allegedly trafficked to Goa for flesh trade. [!]
Maybe that is why people don’t earn my respect simply based on their qualifications or corporate experience, tastes, hobbies or preferences. Not that I’m important.
What I’ve tried to highlight is the magnitude of the damage. I probably see things a little simpler than they are. Which is why, for me, the solution was staring me in the face. That we should boycott (for lack of a better word) IPL-6. Because am sure we still give priority to human life over a few weeks of entertainment. The boycott will pass a strong message to politicians (read IPL chairman), that even if they don’t mind a few thousand casualties, we the citizens still do.
I am still thinking and hoping to find a simpler solution that the common man can implement. But things like asking societies to use less water, showering on alternate days or not shaving for a month or two. Those are not solutions, right? hahaha.
There was a huge media hungama about a water-less holi. Not sure how effective it was, surely those who implemented it felt they were making a difference. Then don’t you feel 48 lakh litres would make a slightly bigger difference?
It’s ironic that I heard the following quote in the movie 2012.
“The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment we lose our humanity.”