Editorial | Water is life

The example set by the locals of a Ganderbal village in saving a spring, by clearing it off all the garbage dumped into it, and restoring it to its cleaner state, is a breather. Kashmir is rich in water bodies. It is not just villages, but towns, and even our Srinagar city, that are dotted with water bodies. But sadly, and with a deep sense of disgust,  we must confess that we have ruined almost all of them. This neglect of the treasure that the nature had bestowed us with is not to be attributed to the government apathy, and a lack of any comprehensive policy by the concerned departments.  As a civil society, and as the actual owners of these treasures, we have left nothing undone to pollute these water bodies, fill them, and in many cases turn the banks and the bed into a residential sprawl.

This is a crime of indescribable magnitude, and its punishment we are receiving and will keep receiving in future in the shape of catastrophic impact on our environment. We have mutilated the beautiful face of our valley, and this we must realise; we must try to mend our ways.  Here it must be clarified that the protection of natural assets, be it gardens, lakes, springs, rivers, or open grassland, is the primary task of the civil society. Governments and the concerned departments can contribute to the upkeep of these assets only if the people are mindful of their importance, and there is a popular culture of looking at these natural bodies as collective assets. Though in many cases the damage done is total and irreversible, but in many others if a little bit of effort is put in we can restore the natural state of these water bodies. The way some youth took this initiative in this Ganderbal village and cleaned up a spring, shows the path. As a people if we can mobilise during disasters, and also do good work in helping poor and other destitute, why can’t we be sensitive towards environment and spare some energies to rescue the decaying water bodies in our localities. After all it is our home and we must take care of it.