By Arshad Khan
With the arrival of the marriage season in Kashmir, starts the preparation and distribution of tasty and delicious feasts. The parties, and parents, involved in marriages leave no stone unturned to make every delicacy, and each item, available at these marriage ceremonies. In sum, we can say that there is dearth of nothing and plentitude of everything, especially in respect of food and the articles of food.
Nevertheless, with these celebrations and distributions of feasts , there is also an associated disturbing trend, that is, of the wastage of food items, water and other vital essentials. Though many people have written and continue to write things about the wastage of food and related items but there is hardly anybody who does so in respect of the wastage of water in general and the wastage of the bottled water in particular.
Of late, I have attended many wedding ceremonies where I have observed this wastage about which nobody seems concerned. The people, attending marriage ceremonies and other parties, open mineral water bottles, sip a mouthful and then leave the bottles behind with the remaining water. Subsequently, the half filled bottles are collected by the hosts and find their destiny at the dumping sites along with the precious water.
Collectively, this way, we are wasting huge amount of consumable water. This water if saved could have lessened the burden on the resources of fresh water so that plenty could have been left for future use. However, the wastage of this water puts extra pressure on the same resources thereby making the prospects of future generation, and even the current generation, bleak.
As conscientious people, why can’t we take the half consumed bottles along with us to ensure that each drop of this water is used for the purpose for which it was made available and this way neither the water nor the money spent on it is wasted. Or, this water can be used in some other alternative ways beneficial for us. The only important thing is that the water should not get wasted anyway.
The contemporary world is facing a humongous scarcity of water and, in some areas, this has become a major threat to the existence of people. There is a hue and cry about the shortage of water to which we must pay due attention but, unfortunately, we are doing very little towards this problem at both the individual and societal levels.
The show-off to which we Kashmiri people are very prone to can’t be allowed to ruin the prospects of our future generations. No doubt , we take privileges in wasting things but these wastages are taking us one step closer towards disaster, the kind which could threaten the existence and sustenance of this nation.
Extravagance is not our birthright but access to vital resources of the society is. We must break this cocoon and come out of this narrow mentality. We must invest in the future without getting parted from the present,; it is our good work in the present which is a sure guarantee to our successful future.
Beginning with bottled water bottles in marriages and other ceremonies, we can take the conservation process to the next level. We all must act inclusively and work towards this end and one day it would become a great movement of human sustenance on the planet earth. By saving water, by whatever way, we would be rendering a great service not only towards Kashmir and Kashmiri people but to the entire humanity.
As a concluding remark we can end by q quote by Sylvia Earle, “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” So, let’s save water and save life and have all the green and blue good for human survival. Let’s make the hostile conditions of the surrounding environment pleasant by conserving water by whatever way and , at whatever level possible.
—The author, from Midoora, Tral, can be reached at: [email protected]