Samruddha Bharat – A Water and Prosperity Connect

Bharat – A Land With Sunlight, Water and Samruddhi

Our land is called Bharat and that means a place that verily enjoys Bha, the light of the Sun, which is called by names such as Bhaskara meaning one who makes light or Bhanu, one who is full of splendour.

But along with light, this land also enjoys rains that come at the same time, each year and that too just after the scorching summer, so that together they create a salubrious season for crops to grow.

Besides the Sun and the Rain, Mother Earth has also endowed this land with a terrain and topography such that, the land is surrounded by Seas and covered by a network of rivers, many of which, besides the glacier fed rivers, were perennial.

All of these contributed to this land

  • growing lot of food and other exotic produce using water
  • manufacturing various essential artefacts using water and labour
  • transporting these goods inland using the network of rivers
  • exporting these produce to other lands via sea and seaworthy ships and
  • earning lot of wealth and prosperity, Samruddhi in turn for the civilization.

The Wisdom

Despite such flowing rivers, our ancestors had also considered it necessary to create man-made water bodies that can save rain water. For, they knew that, despite all the rains that this land gets, it pours only for 4 months in a year and that water has to be collected and used for the rest of the year.

They had thus ingeniously created local, indigenous ways of storing water that leveraged local topographical features and catered to local needs.

It is these local water bodies, enumerated in 1800s to be over 9 lakh 50 thousand in number, that ensured year-round ability to have 3 harvests – 3 Bhog which created the abundance in this civilization.

A Misunderstanding

Many city dwellers are under the impression that the major needs of water for life are for drinking, bathing and washing and industry.

Little do we realize that the major consumption of water is for growing the food we eat.

Furthermore, 1 kilo of meat requires 10 times the amount of water as compared to water needed for growing 1 kilo of grains.

The Stark Reality – Water, a Finite Resource

Water is a renewable resource. At the same time, it is not an infinite but a finite resource.

The amount of water available globally, while it seems large, is in fact very limited. For, nearly 98 % of the water on earth is in the form of salt water in the seas and oceans. This water is not useful for industry, agriculture or for animals and humans.

Trying to harness this brackish sea water through the modern reverse osmosis process is not only capital intensive and costly but the annual operations and maintenance costs are prohibitive too. That puts almost 98% of water on earth, out of our reach.

Given this scenario we have to depend on the balance, little over 2% water for our water needs.

A substantial portion of this 2% of fresh water too, is locked up as ice in the 2 poles, the ice caps on snow covered mountains and the heavy glaciers in them.  They form about 1.725 % of the total water on earth.

So, what is left as flowing fresh water, is hardly 0.025 % of all the water in the world.

Flowing fresh water is thus not infinite, but finite and very miniscule

The Challenge

Human population on the other hand has been growing steadily, adding about one billion to its population every few decades. This means that the same quantity of water has to be shared by a billion more people every 10 years, which means that there is going to be less and less water for each individual, for their needs of life, as the years roll by.

So, unless we take a leaf out of our ancestors’ practice of saving water and do so ourselves, we are going to face a scarcity of water soon.

We need to not only revive the old water bodies left behind by our forefathers for us, but we also have to build many more to match the growth in population and growing needs too.

Rivers are happy to flow where we lead them.

It is for us to first make them flow.

Make them flow perennially and fully.

Make them flow as much, all across the land before they run into the sea.

Make them flow to as many local water bodies where they can remain for the rest of the year.

With all this flow, will come flowing prosperity, Samruddhi once again.

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