Australian solo runner in Mumbai to highlight problems of water scarcity

Dec 06, 2018, 08:42 IST | Arita Sarkar

Former lawyer-investment banker from Down Under on a solo run to highlight how water scarcity will paralyse several countries in the near future if we don't take measures now

Australian solo runner in Mumbai to highlight problems of water scarcity
Mina Guli running in Rajasthan a few days ago

Sprinting 42 km every day for 100 days in 20 countries is the level of commitment Mina Guli, 48, has towards her mission to spread awareness about the growing water crisis across the world. After starting in New York on November 4, she is currently in India and make her way to Mumbai on December 6, running from Thane to Gateway of India.

A former lawyer and investment banker, Guli was drawn to the cause after witnessing the general apathy towards saving water. "Water is our future. Without it, there is no society, no economy, no power, no food and no life. Yet, nobody is talking about it. It should be on the front page of every newspaper and on the top of politicians' lists of issues," she said.

Her route
The Australian said she had no idea how bad the crisis was until she came across a startling fact — the world is expected to face 40 per cent shortfall between supply and demand for water by 2030. "I realised how big the problem was. Something bigger had to be done. So I started to run, because running is my way of going around the world and uniting people on an issue. I won't stop running until there is a solution," she asserted.

Since her journey started, Guli has travelled to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Uzbekistan. After starting in Delhi on November 23, she reached Valsad, Gujarat, on Wednesday. After running through India, she will move to China, Israel, Ethiopia, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico and Kenya among others. Her route ends in New York on February 11, 2019.

Highlighting unsung heroes
When asked why she picked these countries, she said, "I have chosen the ones where the crisis is bigger but people are trying to find solutions; I want to highlight these people." Besides spreading the word to save every drop of water, Guli's aim is to find stories of unsung heroes, who are making efforts within their communities to save the precious resource. "I alone can't make a difference, we all have to make the message popular," she said.

Guli added that she plans to make a documentary and conduct an exhibition based on the stories she gathers. "I will present the stories to the UN, and then, take them around the world to show the work being done at the grass roots, to inspire people to be a part of the solution," she said. "It has been an emotional roller coaster. I have met a lot of interesting people, who have heard about my run and come to tell me about their efforts," she said, giving examples of farmers using drip irrigation to save water, and some others organising puppet shows to spread the message.

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