Water - the most precious wealth
By Sudha Ramasubramanian
Water is the most precious wealth in the world, but it is also the most exploited. If we go on using water on the Earth uncaringly and without replenishing it, then we are just greedy consumers. We should take from the Earth only what are our absolute and basic necessities: things without which we cannot survive. The Earth has an abundance of everything, but our share in it is only what we really need.
There is a story to illustrate this.
Mahatma Gandhi was staying with the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in the city of Allahabad. In the morning Gandhi was washing his face and hands. Nehru was pouring water from the jug as they talked about the problems of India. As they were deeply engaged in serious discussion, Gandhi forgot that he was washing; before he had finished washing his face, the jug became empty. So Nehru said, "Wait a minute and I will fetch another jug of water for you." Gandhi said, "What! You mean I have used all that jugful of water without finishing washing my face? How wasteful of me! I use only one jug of water every morning." He stopped talking; tears flowed from his eyes.
Nehru was shocked. "Why are you crying, what has happened, why are you worried about the water? In my city of Allahabad there are three great rivers, the Ganges, the Jumna, and the Saraswati, you don't need to worry about water here!"
Gandhi said, "Nehru, you are right, you have three great rivers in your town, but my share in those rivers is only one jug of water a morning and no more."
We should all follow the example of our Father of the Nation if we wish to continue enjoying the wealth Mother Earth has bestowed on us.