Appallingly Unbelievable!

Appallingly Unbelievable!
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In the 21st century where the world thither has moved beyond and is actually on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, wherein Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Robotics are no more frontier technologies but have become kind of mainstream, here in Kashmir, many people suffer from privations and problems that are , from the developed world perspective, unbelievable. Paucity and deprivation of clean, potable and safe drinking water, in many far flung and rural areas, constitutes one glaring example of this. It is not an uncommon sight in many villages and rural areas to see women fetching water from sources that are, by any standard, unhygienic and unsafe for consumption. These include rivers, wells , streams , rivulets and so on. In the nature of a travesty, this condition is unpardonable and , in the main, accrues from omissions and negligence. The problem stripped of accretions stems, in the main, from the fact that these areas are distant and the glare of the media and so on does not fall on these. The attendant vacuum is filled by politics of patronage which does not fulfill even basic conditions and needs. Moreover, the people of these areas are not vocal and thus get ignored. Another factor in the matrix is corruption which exists at multiple levels with people, across the board, and especially, in these areas, getting the hard end of the stick, so to speak. The irony is compounded by the fact that clean and potable water is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals(SDG’s) and thereby in the nature of an entitlement. But, alas, conditions on the ground speak a different story. One major effect of unsafe drinking water is the prevalence of water borne diseases and other allied health problems. This then means that the issue is that of a public health one, an area that is generally ignored in Kashmir. The condition then needs immediate and urgent redressal. The issue is not something that is not remediable. It is, eminently so. All that the solving this issue entails are focused and determined efforts to make clean, and potable water available to all, especially people in far flung , rural areas. The complement to these efforts must be eradication of corrupt practices and forms of negligence that actually lead to this problem. As a starting point, one spur to action would to be to actually treat people living in these areas at par with others.