Water crisis gets a pedal push by Greater Noida varsity student

A cyclist is urging the public to be aware of India’s water situation.
Philem Rohan Singh, a post-graduate student from Sharda University, on his Kashmir-to-Kanyakumari cycling expedition to save water.
Philem Rohan Singh, a post-graduate student from Sharda University, on his Kashmir-to-Kanyakumari cycling expedition to save water.

This young man from Manipur is a man on a mission. All of 24, Philem Rohan Singh is pedalling through the length and breadth of the country to spread the message on the biggest crisis of all times – water shortage.

The postgraduate student at Sharda University in Greater Noida will cycle more than 5,500 km starting from Kashmir and ending at Kanyakumari as part of the varsity’s ‘#WaterForLife’ campaign. Singh has already covered around 800km as the campaign was flagged off on June 14 from Srinagar.

While crossing Delhi – the fifth destination on his route – he interacted with the media, sharing details about the campaign which focuses on identifying the issues leading to scarcity of clean and safe drinking water, other water-related issues affecting livestock, farming, businesses, livelihood, depleting groundwater level among others.

Talking about his journey Singh, who already clocked in 10,000km from previous cycling trips, said, “So far, I have interacted with the local people from different states about the water crisis they face daily. I discovered that while some have a scarcity of drinking water, others need to travel long distances to get potable water”. Based on these interactions he’s arrived at the conclusion that India is staring at a calamity of massive proportions, with Delhi not far behind. “Delhi is facing alarming cases of disappearing groundwater and is likely to run out of groundwater by 2020. In order to replenish the groundwater, rainwater harvesting is compulsory, and consumers also have to do more to check their water usage practices,” he says further.

Upon reaching the national capital on Tuesday, Singh interacted with local people of Dashratpuri, Okhla and parts of east Delhi and examined water-related problems they encounter for survival.

He has travelled across Srinagar, Drass, Kargil, Leh, Manali, Chandigarh and Kurukshetra till now. The expedition will touch remote locations in Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Bengaluru and Kerala.

He is making a point to visit nondescript places like Ponda, Bicholim, Sanguem, Canaco, Bhatsa, Tulsi, Vihar, Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Tansa, Upper Vaitarna that are severely battling water crisis.

The findings of the project will be made into a documentary, (which the university claims to be India’s first video-based research report on water-related issues, findings and solutions), and will eventually be shared with the Centre.

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The New Indian Express