'Bucket bath' helps to save 50 liters of water per day in Lucknow
In the final part of our inspiring stories series, we look at Ritvick Bhalla's unique water conservation concept 'bucket bath' which enlightens people about water crisis and simple methods to adapt to augment conservation
It is said that we often tend to gloss over things that are near to us. The truth of the statement was vindicated to me. I had concluded my five-part series on young social reformers before stumbling upon yet another inspiring tale of Ritvick Bhalla of Vasant Valley School New Delhi. Now I have been a student of the same school for about a decade and in my first draft, nobody from the school had made the cut. This was before I came across Ritvick’s simple yet moving effort and couldn’t resist adding one more chapter to the chronicle of these social change agents.
Those who live in urban agglomerations where basic amenities for a certain quality of life are taken for granted would be hard pressed to consider and empathize with those who spend their lives struggling for the same elementary services. Then you hear of people such as Ritvick who move out of their comfort zone to make a difference.
The human need for water cannot be overemphasized. The three essential requirements of humanity or for that matter any species is air, water and food and in that pecking order. Notwithstanding the relevance of water for the sustenance of life, we hear and read about challenges some sections of our society have to grapple with to fulfill their water requirements.
While working with less privileged children in the region of Munshipulia on the outskirts of Lucknow, the enormity of this water challenge dawned upon Ritvick. He observed that both the quantum and quality of water was sub-human. People walked kilometers for just a bucket of water. As a hopeful engineering student, Ritvick spent many months working with a company monitoring over 2500 bore wells for water table in India. The study results were alarming. In only a year the water level had depleted by 6 meters that is almost a two-story building.
While the paucity of water was causing immense hardships, the future appeared still bleak. Juxtapose the water consumption habits in towns where taps and showers churn gallons of water and considerable quantum is wasted or definitely not efficiently utilized. The contrast is ironical and tragic. When a natural resource is scarce, parsimonious usage should really be the call of the day. This clarion call resonated in Ritvick’s mind that water conservation was the way forward.
It was then that Ritvick conceived the idea of "bucket bath". He collated data, which revealed that an average shower consumes around 65 liters of water against a bucket, which uses about 15 liters. The average daily human requirement of water for various needs is almost 100 liters. The saving of 50 liters per day by just switching from taking a shower to bathing using a bucket of water. The idea was simple yet profound. Ritvick went about his business of propagating the bucket bath concept. He workshops in factories, schools, and neighborhood. Social media platforms became an effective tool to spread awareness. A petition was initiated on change.org. The effort was to enlighten people about the water crisis and simple methods that everyone could adapt to augment conservation.
Of course, one individual's attempt in the face of this mammoth challenge may not seem to suffice. However, metamorphic transformations are often initiated by a solitary effort. As they say, every drop counts, it's always a trickle before it turns into a stream. Ritvick is doing his bit, the least the civilized society can do is applaud and emulate.
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