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Water & Sanitation

This man is giving away 10,000 liters of water a day to drought-stricken neighbors

This man is giving away 10,000 liters of water a day to drought-stricken neighbors

As a devastating drought strikes Latur, India, Mateen Bhai finds himself in an unusual position of power. Scores of people are desperate for water, and Mateen Bhai has a functioning borewell that holds plenty of water.

Instead of hoarding the well water or even charging people for it and making a profit, Mateen has been providing 10,000 liters of free water to his neighbors each day for the past three months.

In such a challenging time, neighbors are beyond grateful for Mateen’s benevolence. It has made living in a severe drought a lot more manageable. 

They try to hand him money, but he refuses and tells them to take as much water as they need. 

To Mateen, water is a universal right and he does not have ownership over what the well produces. He believes that whoever ends up drinking the water deserves it and he will not stand in the way of anyone who needs some. 

Currently, more than 330 million people are struggling from droughts in India. The western state Maharashtra, where Latur is, has been the worst hit. Millions of families in the region have seen, “their crops destroyed, lost their livestock and suffered from life-threatening water shortages over several months.”

Maharashtra has always been prone to drought, but changing weather patterns from climate change have deepened the region’s vulnerability.

In the years to come, India will have to adapt to this reality by better managing water supplies and the whole world will have to play its part by reducing global emissions. 

In the meantime, everyone should try to act as generously as Mateen, because everyone should have access to the universal right of clean water.