what is free?
  • Dear Friends
    During my recent visit to Uttarkhand i noticed a peculiar thing all across - even places like Devaprayag where Ganga flows 99% pure people buy water.
    1. Even while staying at the Banks of Pure Ganga, we drink bottled water. ( see pictures, clsoe to Ganga, we sell water)
    2. The good water flowing in taps - Many city dwellers dont drink
    3. Monkey's know very well to use taps but they are also now changing to bottled water.( see pictures)
    God created the world and gave food, water and air which are essential for living free of cost to us.
    1. We destroyed forests first. ( Olden days roots were available in the fringes of villages., leafy vegetables, vegetables like pumpkin, bean, cucumber were all grown in the fences, banana, Mangoes, gauva, turmarind, drum stick etc  were available free on the fringes of each villages) and Made food to be bought first.
    2. Now water sources are destroyed and water is to be bought.
    3. May be in 50 years we may have to carry oxygen and that too may become costly. We will not crib and start buying it.
    And we have made SMS, email, cell to cell etc free.
    This we call development. We work hard for getting things which were available free and in the process make them more scarce.
  • Hi,
    I would like to relate a personal experience. I was part of a group of 5 who undertook the Uttarkhand Char Dham pilgrimage in 2008. We had a very dedicated and committed driver who tookexcellent care of us throughout the whole pilgrimage, ensuring that there was enough mineral water bottles in the vehicle all the time.
    He went out of the way to ensure that wehad our meals at clean eating places. I remember a lunch stop we made after visiting Triyuginarayan temple near Rudraprayag. We were hungry and ready to scoff whatever was available but our driver noticed that the cook was handling food in aunhygienic manner and our driver whisked us out of the place after giving the cook some advice.
    Yet, it was the same driver who stopped ata junction with a mountain spring and seeing that there was no empty bottle available, emptied an unopened mineral water bottle and filled it up with the spring water and passed it to us.
    In an authoritative voice he said, "This is Ganga jal. Drink".Though we felt a little uneasy, all of us drank quietly. The clean and clear water had a refreshing taste and I must say that though I have a weak stomach I did not face any problems from then on until the end of our trip.
    In the mountains, I feel it is safe to drink spring water but I will still stick to mineral water or boiled tap water elsewhere.
  • In the whole trip - from Haridwar to Devprayag, even in interior Rishikesh, i found the drains emptying in to Ganga though she is called by everybody as Gangaji.
    I took water for Pooja and offering to temples at Bhagirathi part at Devaprayag as i found it clean( which will be the next weeks article in Ramayana series).
    The panditwho helped me doing pooja there laughed saying that there are 3 towns upstream - Uttarkashi, Tehri and one more and for purest Ganga we need to go to Gomuk itself.
    I consoled myself and took water for offering from Bhagirathi there.

    As more streams download water upto Rishikesh - ( Not Lakshman Joola part but 3 kms upstream ) is OK. The water in taps are much better.
    Simple things like using less water by using mugs instaed of directly taking from pipe,( For washing teeth directly from pipe by keeping it open all through, people waste a bucket when a mug will be enough- for washing hands in hotels a bucket should be kept instead of pipes. ) keeping plnats around where the sewage is directted, using dustbins, washing away from river- simple things can bring in lot of changes.

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