No Water

I got into a small but very interesting conversation with someone from work today. The other American and I both have a slight guilt complex while doing service projects with the kids. Growing up I wasn’t concerned with wasting water, recycling, reducing, etc. even still in the US this is not something that’s addressed daily. How can we tell kids that they’re wasting water in their community when kids in the Global North take 30 minute showers with hot water, buy bottled water without any need (here people buy bottled water because drinking water is unsafe), discard products just because a cooler/newer model is out; we don’t think about any of these things.
This is actually not the reason why I started this thread. I started this because we got on the topic of recycling. At a point, she said that economics works. I assumed she meant that because people were poor, they couldn’t afford to waste. This is also true. She was referring to the radhiwallas. They collect newspapers and other trash and send it for recycling because it was economical. This is their livelihood. India recycles because it’s the “job” of so many people. This is what she was referring to when she said sometimes economics works. In terms of human rights, it shouldn’t be this way. The same is true with the homeless in the US who collect plastic bottles. In India, I can’t help but wonder how much worse the waste and littering problem would be if the radhiwallas weren’t around.
I would also like to share a very powerful video that was produced by the President of India, Dr. Kalam. I must say it kind of freaked me out. How much of an impact would this have on a kid or adult who doesn’t live with the reality of the water being shut off on Thursdays or who has to get water from the local tap, a kid who sees the reality of this taking place on a daily basis? How much of an impact does it have on a kid who does?

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