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Mathuranpura & Mahoba: World’s worst water starved places reflecting worsening drought situation in North India
By NewsGram Staff Writer
Mathuranpura, a particularly poor neighbourhood in Mahoba, one of India’s 250 poorest districts is home to 1,000 dalits and where few things are as exclusionary as access to water.
None of the 1,000 dalits who live in mostly mud-and-thatch homes have regular jobs (the majority are construction workers), there is no school in the neighbourhood and none of their homes has piped water.
On June 23, three months after bountiful but unseasonal rains destroyed crops and imperilled farming – as we reported earlier – Mathuranpura’s dalits went to the district magistrate, Vireshwar Singh, with a petition: Give us a water pipeline.
A year ago, a water pipeline was laid, a group of Mathuranpura residents told Khabar Lahariya. It stopped at the house of the panchayat (council) chairman, who, they alleged, did not allow the pipeline to be extended to their mohalla, or neighbourhood.
So dire is the crisis in this water-starved district that locals sometimes dig tunnels some distance from their villages to collect water seeping from the ground, their main source of water, Khabar Lahariya previously reported.
It is a reflection of a quietly, worsening groundwater situation, not just in Mahoba – 240 km southeast of the Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow – but across northern India. The situation has been given little attention by the government or media. As a column in The Guardian pointed out, when water is overused or unavailable, it takes only poor management to plunge a region into crisis.
Mahoba’s crisis came rapidly, when its once plentiful water sources were polluted or otherwise devastated (as we shall see later). Mathuranpura’s water source is a handpump, which yields little water. The locals said their “arms were exhausted” working it and they were tired queuing up day and night. The water reduces, and the waits get longer. So, they want that pipeline.
District magistrate Singh said he has taken the petition with “some seriousness” and in the presence of Khabar Lahariya reporters, ordered the water department to lay a pipeline to Mathuranpura.
If this happens, Mathuranpura should consider itself lucky. No more than 7 percent of Mahoba district’s people have a drinking-water source at home or in their compounds, according to census data.
In rural Mahoba, 95.3 percent of people have no access to tap water from a treated source; although more than 30 percent of village households have access to tap water.
Mathuranpura and Mahoba’s situation is not unusual in India, where 22.2 percent of rural households get their drinking water from a source that is at least half a kilometre away from home. More than 116 million Indian households in villages cannot access water from a tap. Only 7 percent households have drinking water sources within their compound in the villages of Mahoba district.
It will be ever more difficult to supply those households with water because more than half of India now faces what is called “high” to “extremely high” water stress. Across parts of northern India, skyrocketing demands on water for agriculture and growing populations have pushed groundwater to levels more critical than anywhere else on earth.
The situation is as grim on the Gangetic plains, and a variety of studies reveal a common trend.
After the winter deluge, a great water scarcity has fallen across Mahoba, indicating the vagaries of life without an assured supply of water.
Despite being known as the land of talaabs, or ponds, the access to drinking water supply is limited. Most of these large and beautiful water bodies are now dirty and badly maintained. There has been no work or special schemes that may make the water potable. In Charkhari block, which has seven large taalaabs, several homes are now served by domestic drainage, but the drains empty into a pond.
The major river in Mahoba, Chandrawal, first showed signs of drying up a decade ago, but a drought in 2008 was the final blow. Efforts are being made to revive the river only now.
Even as groundwater levels drop, Mahoba – and northern India – has no option but to continue with the effort to supply drinking water, whether piped in from rivers or from groundwater sources, such as borewells and lakes.
The budget for fiscal 2015-16 has been earmarked Rs 11,000 crore for the centrally-sponsored National Rural Drinking Water Programme – now a part of the Swachh Bharat (clean India) mission – launched in 2007 to provide safe drinking water to 116 million deprived households in India’s villages. Delhi provides financial assistance to states and union territories for drinking water projects and water-quality testing.
But no funds have been released this year to Mahoba, so far.
With funding from Delhi declining because of financial devolution-the process of handing over money to the states to do their own spending-it is uncertain what lies ahead for Mahoba.
(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform. This story has been produced in partnership with Khabar Lahariya, a rural, weekly newspaper run by a collective of female journalists from five districts in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar. Each district has its own edition, brought out in the local language of the district.
(With inputs from IANS)
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing