Environment & Ecology
Stories to Discover India Afresh | Shishir R Raval
LA 53

The Water Catchers: 12 Inspirational stories of how communities went from scarcity to plenty
Author: Shree Padre
Published by Nimby Books, 2017
Water conservation is more important now than ever. It recounts twelve tales of confidence amongst ordinary citizens that can act as an example and inspiration for the reader in being proactive and judicious with the use of water. With various techniques and ideas from a varied resource pool, one can adopt any of the many local and reliable methods to address the water crisis at public and community levels.

The book, like these quotes from its twelve stories, nudges one to get inspired, abide by well-founded wisdom, ponder over little known facts, shed preconceived notions, and act! An epilogue to the late Anupam Mishra's seminal interview in Civil Society magazine, months before his passing away, is a treat. This is vintage Anupam-ji-pithy, incisive, insightful, and a must-read. Together, they offer sound reasons to commend and recommend this book.

Reading this modest book and taking notes, I separately jotted down dozens of lessons, actions that can be taken at individual / community / government levels without much ado, and a rich variety of techniques, some known and some new-all for conserving water. These are of immense value. One can adapt and integrate these ideas for greater synergistic benefits in a variety of sites and at different scales. The stories' objective is to instil confidence among ordinary citizens. Traditional wisdom, local materials and skills, people working together, commitment, and homegrown planning are enough. The author is to be applauded for his simple and at times subtly funny and poetic narrative that is peppered with the stakeholders' quotes, making it more grounded and believable. The publishers too ought to be acknowledged for their vision and courage to publish such a book.


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