Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A friend of mine recently posted this photo onto her Facebook page with the caption, "'People gather water from a huge well in the village of Natwarghad in the western Indian state of Gujarat. More than 1 billion people still lack access to clean drinking water. .'"
This photo had an immediate impact on me and I had to share it. The other day as I considered my future as a college student, I somehow came across an odd concern that I wouldn't have water at my disposal in my bedroom at any given moment. I worried that I'd have to get up in the middle of the night and walk all the way to a communal bathroom or to a vending machine or a water fountain nearby, and at the time, this was a legitimate concern.
However, upon being shown this photo, I felt extremely embarrassed. Here people stand patiently, carrying empty jugs or leaving them on the ground nearby as they wait for a chance to fill up with water. The area looks deserted, surrounded by sand and rubble. They have no clean water in their homes, nor can they leave their dorm rooms and walk several feet to the nearest water fountain. They have walked for who knows how long to seek water in the depths of a well surrounded by sand and rocks.
We often hear of the issue that a huge number of people face regarding a lack of clean water, but it's hard to understand the repercussions of that issue until we see it firsthand. This photo is the closest I have come to actually witnessing the issue. It's easy to hear about people without clean water in their homes and still somehow assume that it magically appears in a simple process when they go out and seek it. It is evident from this photo, however, that this is not the case. This issue is one that is easy to neglect because water seems to be such an everlasting commodity for us. It is not until we witness people struggling to find water through photos like this one that we can start to grasp the severity of the problem and its effects on real peoples lives.