By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 21 May: The New Delhi launch of the book, “Story of Water – Water: Essence of life” authored by Dehradun based writer and journalist Arun Kumar Singhal took place on 16 May at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. It was launched by recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Dr Rajendra Singh, Water Conservationist & Environmentalist, popularly known as “Jal Purush”, and Prof V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, amidst a galaxy of eminent people from the industry, academia and social workers.
The book is co-authored along with Arun Kumar Singhal by internationally renowned earth scientist Prof ON Bhargava, Fellow, Indian National Science Academy (INSA), and Dr BP Singh of Punjab University.
Speaking at the book launch, the authors disclosed that India has about 16% of the world’s population and only 4% of total water resource. The country is moving towards a fresh water crisis owing to improper management. In addition, pollution of rivers, lakes and even groundwater posed grave health problems. According to the findings of WHO, 88% of the four billion annual gastrointestinal diseases are due to polluted water. Around 1.8 million people die annually from diarrhea related diseases. The WHO estimates that 94% of these cases are preventable. Global Warming may add to the existing woes, the authors pointed out.
The book broadly deals with the hydrosphere, water for sustaining life and need for its conservation, besides topics like heavy water, newly discovered tunneling water and water in space. The book is available on Amazon.in and Flipkart.com.
Keeping in view the importance of the topic discussed in the book, noted Environmentalist and Chipko Movement leader Dr Sunderlal Bahuguna has shared his views on water conservation and climate change in the Foreword.
According to Dr Sunderlal Bahuguna, “Only a few of us appreciate that water is the “Essence of life”. Most of us take water for granted and use it with gay abandon, instead of preserving it. We waste it and even pollute its perennial source like rivers. The future of the “Blue Planet” depends on unpolluted water. We owe to posterity an Earth with a pristine environment, where pure water is available in plenty. To conserve water, we must practice austerity, alternatives and afforestation. Austerity means rational use of water where there is no wastage; alternatives means minimising water guzzling industries and change in irrigation methods and patterns; also developing such breeds of plants that need less quantity of water for irrigation. In this scheme of conservation, afforestation is of utmost importance. Planting trees is like farming of water for the future. It is now an accepted fact that afforestation promotes higher precipitation in the form of rains, which in turn recharges aquifers leading to best levels of groundwater table.”
Prof V Ramgopal Rao expressed happiness at hosting the book launch keeping in view its importance. The author, Arun Kumar Singhal said the book was an effort to remind those who take the existence of water for granted, do not care for its misuse and who are unaware of the imminent shortage of fresh water. The book is well illustrated to make it not only interesting to all age groups but also intelligible to children he said.