Friday, July 27, 2012

Saluting Aamir Khan and His Satyameva Jayate Program !

Let me first admit frankly, I am not a regular movie viewer, though I was one of that sort while I was in my youth days. It is not that I do not enjoy films now. I do like good movies but some how I feel short of time to watch the movies that get released in the languages that I am comfortable.

The people behind the movie making business are quite talented and God has given them certain very good communication skills that when effectively used could make the lesser fortunate ones quite overwhelmed. Their collective communication skills can make people entertained and addicted. For that entertainment addiction people are willing to pay just as they are willing to spend for their food or even more. So the talents of those connected with the motion picture business are greatly remunerated with big money quite often. This big money and the large fan following made the talented communication artists connected with motion picture to live in a world of fame and glamour with a certain aura transforming many of them to the status of living stars on earth.

I am an admirer of stars that shine both in the sky and on earth. But I am not an astronomer. So I do not keep track of the names and details of stars any where. But occassionally some stars out perform others that even my untrained eyes notice.

Mr Aamir Khan is one such star of Bollywood. I noticed him some time ago, when my 25 year old son insisted that I should see his film ' 3 Idiots ' with him in the theatre. Yes, I liked the comedy with some messages, primarily because it centred around three engineering students and I myself was one some decades ago. In fact, I saw the picture twice in the theatre. My son was quite enthusiastic in describing the qualities of Mr Khan that made this Khan different from other Bollywood stars.

A few weeks ago I happened to watch a TV programme called 'Satyameva Jayate' anchored by Mr Aamir Khan. It was dubbed in Malayalam and beamed by the popular Asianet TV channel of Kerala. Though I could not watch the programme from the beginning to the end, I immediately felt that this bollywood star has embarked upon a visual media project that the whole of India would feel indebted.

Today again, I happen to watch another episode of the Satyameva Jayate programme of Mr Aamir Khan. This programme was concerning the issue of water pollution and water scarcity in India.

During the many initial years of my professional career I had to train myself and work as a water and waste water treatment expert. During those days I learnt many things and understood the manner in which this precious natural resource should be managed.

I remember taking extra pains in studying the water requirements of the huge steel industry where I worked at that time and the enormous wastage and that industry had been doing all the decades earlier. It was not because it ought to to it, but because the designers of the plant and its management felt that water was a free commodity and water bodies are the place for dumping the waste waters ! At that time the said steel plant located in central India used to draw nearly 35000 cu.m/hr of water from external dams on an average. My studies revealed that this was not necessary at all if the plant take some simple water management measures. With the support of the then MD of the steel plant -who used to be concerned with water unlike many others- I introduced the concept of ' Zero Discharge' of water from the Industry which made it possible to bring down the water usage of this steel plant to near zero in the years  that followed making the precious water of the dams available for further development of agriculture.

Water and waste water management is simple as well as complex depending upon the situation. Water is a universal solvent for most of the minerals, elements and compounds. Nature has the potential to purify water naturally provided we do not pollute our water bodies beyond what nature can accomplish. Similarly water is a universally distributed natural resource and it is quite abundant for all people, provided we do not disturb the natural distribution mechanisms. If we do it we are bound to augment nature to the extent we have disturbed it.

But this can be done only when the people are aware and behave responsibly. Unfortunately this is where  Indians fail both individually and collectively.

The western nations are called developed nations not because they have nuclear bombs and mass destruction weapons. It that were so, erstwhile USSR should have been the most developed nation on earth ! They are developed because they know how to keep their rivers, streams, lakes and beaches in pristine beauty . 

In the western world, thousands of engineers are trained and engaged in water and waste water management related areas. They keep improving their technologies related sanitation, waste management, sewage and water treatment which our country has miserably failed over the years. Just imagine the way in which our Ganga Action Plan failed after spending crores of rupees !  Indian leadership has yet to understand the importance of trained professionals with knowledge and competency to make such programmes a success. India just does not have enough professionals in the multidisciplinary field of water and waste water treatment areas. The present practice of branding any engineer to undertake work in this field is bound to lead to failure only.

As a bureaucrat who participated in the Satyameva Jayate programme of Aamir Khan on water, it is not so difficult for India to come out of its shameful level development in this regard if the political leadership of the country has determination and vision . Unfortunately that is what India lacks miserably.

Aamir Khan's programme is becoming popular day by day and it gives out a positive message unlike other such programmes. The popular 'we shall over come one day' is getting replaced with ' we shall overcome now'. 

He has decided to use his God given communication talents and energy for making us all aware of those problems that keep our nation belittled in the eyes of other nations. Our mass awareness should make our sleeping leadership open their eyes and act !

If it happens, there is nothing that can prevent India to really become the most desirable land on earth !

I earnestly hope people like Mr Aamir Khan will keep energizing this country to that goal !

A big salute to him, to his team and to all those Indians who contribute to make it happen !

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