Rivers are revered and considered holy since times immemorial in India and mass bathing in some rivers is an age-old ritual. A holy dip and a holy sip of the river waters are considered to be a highly purifying. But is the dip really cleansing at all when almost all the rivers in India are known to be highly polluted?
UN’s recognition of safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right recently hit a decade and this makes us ponder even more about the situation in the Sundarbans after the Amphan cyclone. The destruction caused by Amphan in the Sundarbans poses a massive threat to the very right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation of the people living there.
An estimated 58,000 babies die in India every year from superbug infections passed on from their mothers, whilst drug-resistant pathogens cause between 28,000 to 38,000 extra deaths in the European Union every year.
Come monsoons and vector borne diseases start making headlines every year in many parts of India, especially mosquito borne diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis.
What are vector borne diseases
India stares at a Covid-19 induced waste management crisis and there is a need to strengthen waste management services. An important sanitary barrier to prevent the dissemination of illnesses and diseases, waste management’s impact on the world’s healthcare systems, and the economy are significant.
While the world has got a reprieve from pollution with emerging wildlife, cleaner air and clearer water bodies during lockdown, Covid-19 might actually be worsening the present water crisis in an inconspicuous manner. The world is still developing more clarity on safeguards that can prevent transmission, treatment and post treatment complications.
While Covid-19 has brought forth the need for better access to water for WASH practices to the forefront, how India plans to bring water at the doorstep through the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) continues to be a challenge. This is especially in the context of not only access but also quality of the available water.
Climate change triggered heat waves threaten water availability
Ninjallama rues as she remembers, " It was a terrible summer. The heat wave was killing. Three people died in my village. People with skeletal fluorosis suffered .. "
India has the most people in the world without access to safe drinking water (133.9 million). Many studies indicate that poor and marginalized populations are the worst affected from waterborne diseases resulting from the consumption of contaminated water.