It’s all about ‘Thirst’. Some people enter into deep wells to quench their thirst or some walk miles bare feet. For Aarati Bhandare, the ‘thirst’ was to get clean drinking water for herself and everyone around, which is supposedly a birthright. Apparently, she lived in an area which had a lot of water but not a drop feasible for drinking. She remembers her childhood days when fetching drinking water was a big family task. It wasn’t available at the doorstep like it is today. Now that drinking water is easily available, people don’t value it enough, is her major concern. Making people aware of the importance of every drop of water was added to her ‘thirst’. This ‘thirst’ made her abandon her degree in bachelor of dental surgery, her decent job, and designation in her family business. In 2015 she started her journey, study and struggle to quench this ‘thirst’.
Practice before you Preach. Or even before that, Study before you Practice and Preach. With the help of KUWS Belagavi, she visited the nearby dams to study purification plants, their processes, and supply system. She got trained for the basics of rainwater harvesting from Mr. A R Shivkumar who is known as the RWH man of India. She attended seminars in metro cities to study the latest trends and products invented to save water. Books, blogs, web links, articles, magazines and the study came from all the possible sources. After the study, she started Practicing and now was the time to Preach.
Awareness was not as easy as imagined. People mocked at her by saying that water is a natural resource and nature has its own way of balancing things. Some mocked at her by saying we had enough rains last season, why is this water-saving gyaan? The reason for such a mentality was that people limited their concerns to themselves. Water is available for my family, my neighbor, and my relatives so why attend such water-saving lectures? She focused on young brains and started awareness programs in schools and colleges. Today, she has covered almost all the schools and colleges in Belagavi, social elite clubs, ladies groups, corporate companies, business colleges and now made her ways into the surrounding rural areas. She was invited by the IIMT College, New Delhi in 2018, to deliver a talk to the students on world water day. The awareness is made through lectures, songs, poetry, ppt, blogs, painting competitions, pasting posters, hanging banners etc. She has been doing this awareness under the banner of ‘Save Water Save Life’ which is now renamed as ‘Boondh’ with the tagline, Life in Every Drop.
We all swear in the name of the most important person like mom and dad. Water is so important for Aarati that she swears in the name of Water, hence the title ‘Swear By Water’. She whispers ‘Save Water’ in the ears of a newborn baby on his or her naming ceremony. She says each drop of water should be respected in the same way we respect the holy ‘teerth’ offered at a temple.
Being a responsible citizen it’s our duty not only to wish her best wishes in her awareness activities but also be a part of it. Let’s save and respect every drop of water and help Aarati to quench her thirst.