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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)
Sports betting has been around for centuries for the audience to not only watch the sport but to get more deeply involved in the match. It is a fun and often profitable activity for the viewer to win some extra fortune or simply get some extra sweat while watching the game. At first glance, sports betting may look like it's pure luck, but when you indulge deeper into the activity you realize it is more of a calculative and research activity than just pure luck. We must note that yes, luck does play a certain role to some extend but a win is not completely dependent on luck, if you're putting your bets on a certain team you have to make sure to do some research about the players on the team, history of wins and losses of the team and compare the probability of winning and then place bets.
Even though sports betting has existed since the ancient era, it was not until recently that it became increasingly popular among the youth. This happened due to the legalization of the activity and the rise of online sports betting. The technological revolution has expanded the sports betting industry, offering the bettors new markets and ways to bet. The only major difference between online bookmarkers and traditional brick-and-mortar venues of sports betting is that now you can place bets online from your mobile devices, laptops, computers etc.
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Online sports betting allows the sports enthusiastic bettors to place their sports bet online from wherever they are on real-life happening sports events. For instance, if there is a match between Chelsea F.C. and Machester United in the English Premier League, you can place wagers on either of the team to win from your comfort space, on your device and if you correctly predict the outcome, you'll win money.
How to Bet on Sports?
Sport betting gives more thrill and involvement in the sport to the bettor.Istockphoto
Now that you understand the basic mechanism of sports betting, how and where should you place your bets? For new bettors, sports betting can be a little intimidating because you're putting real money as stakes and no one wants to lose it. Here are the steps to place your sports bets online:
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ALSO READ: The Growth of The Sports Betting Market
Locate the market: Before placing your first bet, pinpoint the sports you want to place bets on, then select specific competitions or leagues that interests you the most. Then you need to find a team you want to bet on. Do some research on the odds and market. Once you've made up your mind you can bet your money on your prediction.
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It is indeed good news that the book showcasing the wisdom of India in the eyes of Western intellectuals is getting due recognition and appreciation from other states and abroad. After Karnataka and Punjab, the Government of Assam has recently consented to translate the research-based book by Shillong-based author - Shri Salil Gewali titled "Great Minds on India". The Chief Minister of Assam - Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was amazed to know that so many top western scientists and philosophers have drawn a considerable amount of inspiration from ancient scriptures of India, particularly in the studies of modern physics, linguistic and astronomy. In the recent meeting with the author, the Chief Minister had highly appreciated Gewali's book and promised to read it thoroughly. Gewali's book was also approved for translation in the year 2020 by the former Chief Minister – Shri Sarbananda Sonowal but due to COVID-19, the translation work was delayed.
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Furthermore, the two scholars from Canada --- Dr Hema Murty -- Air Space Engineer at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Harsh H Thakkar of Sheridan College of Brampton, Ontario have sought permission from Mr. Gewali for the translation of 'Great Minds on India' into the Sanskrit language. After the translation, the Sanskrit edition will be published and circulated and utilized by Samskrita Bharati of Canada, besides its other branches in India, USA and UK. Gewali says that the book that has been praised by countless scholars and publication by the Government of Karnataka and Punjab has so far been translated into thirteen languages, including German.
'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdomFile
A university scholar from Winchester, United Kingdom - Ms. Janet Murphy remarks:
" 'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdom, thought and way of life had an impact on western minds, especially those who are of great historical significance, such as Voltaire, Albert Einstein, Ralph Emerson, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, HG Wells et al. It is hoped all right-thinking scholars will find Gewali's work extremely applaudable."
BEIJING — Chinese organizers have confirmed participants in next year's Winter Olympics will be strictly isolated from the general population and could face expulsion for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
Vice mayor and Beijing 2022 organizing committee official Zhang Jiandong told reporters Wednesday that those taking part in the games beginning Feb. 4 must remain in a "closed loop" for training, competing, transport, dining and accommodation.
A strict Olympic bubble has long been on the books, but Beijing has now made it official in keeping with its zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic. Athletes and other participants will also be tested regularly for the coronavirus before and during the Games. Family, spectators and sponsors from outside the country will not be allowed to attend.
"All participants of the Games and our Chinese staff and volunteers will implement the same policy," Zhang said. "They will be strictly separated from the external society.
"Those who do not comply with the epidemic prevention regulations may face severe consequences such as warning, temporary or permanent cancellation of registration, temporary or permanent disqualification or expulsion from the competition, and other punishment."
All participants must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their departure for China.
China has enforced strict rules on mask wearing, quarantines and contact tracing that have largely succeeded in eliminating the local transmission of COVID-19, but imported cases and domestic infections continue to appear in daily reports.
"Indeed, epidemic prevention and control is the biggest challenge for us to host the Winter Olympic Games," Zhang told a news conference.
Wednesday marked 100 days until the Beijing Games. Organizers have held test events featuring international athletes at Olympic venues under strict conditions.
Japan imposed restrictive rules and an Olympic bubble during the July 23-Aug. 8 Summer Games in Tokyo, which had been postponed by 12 months because of the pandemic. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: China, Winter Olympics, Closed Loop, Epidemic Prevention