In the past, ‘water’ was a free commodity. The past generation would not have imagined that the present generation would be required to buy drinking water for a price. Similarly, the future generation would be equally surprised to believe that their forefathers were able to get water free of cost. Under any kind of emergency, unless we are prepared to pay a price, we will not get water at all. That is the reality now.
What is more shocking to note is that in future, there may arise a situation that even the priced water will hardly be available for the people. It is sad to note that one of the big cities ‘Cape Town’ in South Africa is shortly going to become waterless. People should realize that if we keep on destroying natural resources, many cities in many countries would be devoid of water. In fact, many social activists do feel that lack of water would be the main reason for the third world war.
The plight of the Ganges:-
Once the Ganges river was not only pure but also it possessed lot of medicinal benefits, but whereas now, it is full of pollution. Every year crores of rupees is being allotted in the budget for purification but yet it is still impure. The industrial waste and other human waste products continue to pollute the Ganges.
The Central Water Commission has warned that some of the parts of the Ganges are not even fit for taking bath. It is increasingly felt that it is no longer good for our health. The bacteria in the river Ganges has increased from the minimum level of 6 to 360 now. In reality, it has lost its sanctity.
Foamy Noyyal River:-
Our traditional poets had sung in praise of the southern rivers to the effect that that the abundant water from these rivers were flowing like a white canvas. Today also, they wear a similar look but more because of the industrial waste and other pollutants sent into the river beyond all limits. The irony is that instead of admitting this fact, the officials stated the reason as it was due to detergent substance. It is not only an irony but also a comedy piece.
State of Other Rivers:
In both Palar and Cauvery, the sand mining operation has been in full swing. In Tamirabarani river, the multinational cool drink companies have been indulging in stealing water. Once upon a time, we used to not only use river water but also spring water for irrigation because of abundance. On the contrary, spring water has now become a thing of the past because of continuous sand mining. This results in total damage to mankind and environment. It affects ecological balance and also creates many a viral diseases to the population.
Every now and then the State of Karnataka has been declaring that it will not give water to Tamil Nadu. We are only responsible for the environmental pollution. Our precious rivers and wells have been lost beyond recovery. The extent of river bed has kept on reducing. It is a big question as to what we are going to leave for the next generation.
Solution in our hands only:-
We have two important responsibilities in regard to water resource. One is to protect the natural water and the second one is to purify the water resource in the natural way itself. Additionally, the Government machineries should change their stand and take realistic measures in this regard. Above all, the major responsibility lies on the shoulders of the entire people in joining together and raising our unanimous voice against plunder of natural resources.
How to purify the water?:
We have already polluted and dirtied the water around us in all rivers by liberally throwing all kinds of garbage and industrial waste. Earlier, we were simply using a pure white cloth to filter the water.
Who is to verify and monitor as to how many days we can preserve the can water? What is the definition of mineral water? What is done in ensuring the mineral water? If more minerals are stored, would it not increase the mineral content in our body and affect us? These are all certain basic doubts lingering in our minds. It seems that the mineral water companies would use the minerals that would be of little help to us. Another issue is that the so-called mineral water is devoid of any mineral since the natural minerals are removed. The container is plastic and the same is exposed to hot sun in all the shops. Like in the case of coffee and tea in plastic cups which are very dangerous, these plastic containers of mineral water are equally vulnerable. The basic fact still remains that the water is a free element. How can it be sold in markets like this?
Magic of hot water:-
The collected water is presently purified in our house before actual consumption. Irrespective of the process adopted, it is essential that we use hot water so that we can be rid of body ache, indigestion etc. The same meaning is conveyed in chaste Tamil in the ‘Padhartha Guna Chinthamani in verse form. It will assure one of long life too. It is advised that water kept in fridge should not be consumed at all. If one wants cool water, he must use mud pot. This will make it cool as well as free from impurities.
Healthy measures for use of potable water:-
Let us give up the plastic pots and start using the copper pots again for drinking purpose as the copper content will destroy bacteria in the water
After boiling the water, we can put goose berry fruit and cumin. Cumin will ensure immunity level and will help the digestive process comfortably
Clearing nut (Strychnos potatorum)known as Thethankottai in Tamil can be put in water which will increase our strength
Ebony tree stem, sappanwood tree stem and herbal stem can be put into the water and heated. Sappanwood is widely used in Kerala which will give light red colour to the drinking water. It will cure skin diseases and kill the germs
Vetti ver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) , Nannari ver (Sarsaparilla root), licorice, cardamom, nut grass powder etc. can be put in water before boiling. It would give good flavour and also medicinal benefits.
All the above-stated methods of purification are the actual ones which would make the water pure for our consumption. They will not only purify the water but also add taste and flavour that we will like most. Above all, the medicinal effects of such water will be immense. If we are able to resort to these means we need not depend on the market water at all.
(This article written by Dr V Vikramkumar MD(S) has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)