Climate Crisis, SDGs & Shit-dumped Water

shit in water

Climate Disaster; as the mounting scientific evidence is pointing to a fast-approaching inevitable happening of ‘human extinction’, the attention of the world is turning towards the details of the potential manmade disaster.

Crazy! You guys are bothered about your extinction. It seems absurd as you shout and debate in hundreds of seminars and COPs! How come you guys gain more knowledge instantly and talk about fascinating terms and phrases – sustainable development, resilience building, climate vulnerability, remote sensing, clean development, and green development? Won’t you stop this nuisance?! We get frustrated!

We understand, you are bothered about human extinction, and the forthcoming closure of your comfortable human life on the planet, and are worried about being evaporated all of a sudden when climate heat reaches the tipping point! Alas, your enormous wealth; woe to your power! We are least bothered about either climate holocaust or planet collapse. We are least concerned about CO2, Methane, SDGs, and the destruction of forests! We feel funny when you guys are worried about the extinction of some butterflies and tigers! Great joke!

Do you know we constitute the majority of the population that is counted below the poverty line? Following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Government of India developed the National Action Plan on Climate Change, agreeing to operate on the principle of ‘Protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to climate change’. We do not know what genuine efforts have been put in to achieve this. But we are now sure that you guys would allow things just the opposite to happen to us. Whether you allocate funds for SDG and climate action or not, you never fail to spend huge sums for putting up miles and miles-long curtains over our ‘dirty’ slum habitats! Is it one of the innovative ways of sustainable and inclusive development?

We know pretty well that India affixed its signature to the UN Sustainable Development Summit. We had then a sigh of relief hoping for some changes. But what a shame, you just allowed things that are just opposite to what you have committed to. Wanna deets?  Goal number 6 of SDGs talks about equitable access to fresh safe water for all, and the targets of the goal clearly say ‘universal and equitable access to safe drinking water’. However, fortunately, or unfortunately the cat is out of the bag! A barbarous form of caste-based atrocity happened. Our drinking water supply system got dumped with human shit! The emergence of neo-apartheid in the era of artificial intelligence? Don’t you know the atrocious news? Hit the web, use all sorts of dreadful hashtags like ‘hate, shit in drinking water, caste discrimination’, etc. Then catch the stench!  This is the way we are ensured equitable access to safe drinking water.

The mainstream media comfortably points out that this is the situation in Tamil Nadu, brushing millions of such caste discrimination cases all over India under the carpet. Further, the media may attempt to blow up the image of the woman district collector who visited the village immediately and took action – instructing to convene a peace community meeting!? The truth about the violation of our water rights and the gruesome insult that tore our dignity due to this atrocity will all be buried under as usual in the downpour of news about the district collector’s bold steps, IPS officer’s swift action, VIPs visits to the crime scene..But.. Who is the culprit?  Why do the villagers keep mum in identifying the criminal? You guys know well that he is not an odd criminal. But we are sure, the particular ‘criminal’ is not an insane individual but a pan-Indian symbol representing the globalized ‘development-dharma’!

It has been a gruesome experience for us to access just simple water, leave alone safe drinking water. Our plight for water rights is intrinsically connected to the ecosystem, environment, and biodiversity. When our water right is shitted, it does mean our right to environment, ecology, and biodiversity is obviously shitted too! Defending our right to water, and consequently, the rights to the environment and ecosystem, rely on reviving the rebellion Mahad movement of Dr. Ambedkar.

How can we be worried about climate, carbon, and methane while millions of our people still long for shit-free water, zero-rape days, dignified schooling for our kids, the absence of blood-spilling hours, and the hate-less smiles of our compatriots? Many of you today discuss climate-caused human extinction, but we don’t…you know why?… we are already experiencing the pains of extinction. Only we know what the pain of extinction is! While holocausts destroy people instantaneously the extinction inflicted upon us tortures our identity, wounds our soul, and hurts every droplet of our blood unhurriedly each and every second, wherever we live on this planet. If we touch the water it is considered ‘polluted’ all over the country. But when one dumps human shit in our drinking water storage tank, it becomes a localized offense.

Unless our pain is resolved it is useless to talk about SDGs and climate action! “For Ambedkar, nature was shaped by caste. Water, for instance, had a definite caste, as it became ‘polluted’ as soon as a Dalit touched it[1]”.

Rajkumar.M. South India Volunteers Alliance-SIVA

raj2014siva@gmail.com

[1] https://thewire.in/caste/even-after-a-century-water-is-still-the-marker-of-indias-caste-society

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