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Geeta meets Arvind Kejriwal, to go sightseeing

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New Delhi: Geeta, a young speech and hearing impaired woman who returned to India after being stranded in Pakistan for over a decade, met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal here on Tuesday.

At their meet at the chief minister’s official residence, Kejriwal interacted with her through sign language with the help of a facilitator.

Geeta was accompanied by members of Edhi Foundation, the Pakistani group which looked after her.

“The chief minister asked Geeta how she led her life in Pakistan and how she happened to stray into Pakistan,” a Delhi government official said.

Kejriwal also interacted with Edhi Foundation members.

Home ministry officials escorting Geeta told Kejriwal that they intend to take her for sightseeing on Delhi Metro, the official added.

On Monday, Geeta called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after reaching India.

Modi thanked Bilquis Edhi, the founder of the Karachi-based Edhi Foundation, for taking care of Geeta in Pakistan. He also announced a Rs 1 crore rupee donation for the foundation.

Geeta is also slated to meet President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan at 1 PM today.

Geeta, who is yet to identify her family, had accidently crossed over to Pakistan in 2003 and had been looked after by Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare programme, in Karachi.

Prime Minister Modi on Monday welcomed Geeta at his residence while thanking Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation for taking care of the deaf-mute girl, who remained stranded there for over a decade.

“I don’t think any amount of words are enough to thank the Edhi family for taking care of Geeta. They are apostles of kindness and compassion,” Modi tweeted.

“What the Edhi family has done is too priceless to be measured but I am happy to announce a contribution of Rs 1 crore to their foundation,” Modi said.

The Edhi Foundation is a non-profit social welfare programme in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951. He is popularly known as Pakistan’s “Father Teresa”.

Separately, Modi welcomed Geeta on her return to India.

“It is truly wonderful to have you back home. Was truly a delight to spend time with you today,” he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his efforts that ensured Geeta’s return to India.

(IANS)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)