Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Work with Pollution

So far my Blog hasn't really mentioned much about the work I am doing here but that is because up until now my internship/research has been kind of slow going. But yesterday I had a meeting with the Director Manjula Pradeep and the organization's lawyer to discuss the cases I will be working on while I am here. For the most part I will be looking into environmental issues (aka various cases of pollution) that affect the people Navsarjan aims to help. 
I am not going to go into to much detail cause frankly I do not want to bore you, and for most of you the details would be insignificant because you're not familiar with this part of India. 

But today I went on my first official field visits to document pollution in the area and take some water samples. I was honestly shocked, saddened, and appalled at what I saw. Below are just a few of the pictures I took today to give you some idea to what I am talking about. 

No I did not alter this photo in any way... the water was really that pink. And in rural India most people do not have access to  water filtration systems. They drink water from wells, which tape into the local ground water or water tables.  That means this water is mixing with the water the locals are drinking causing them all sorts of health problems such as birth defects.

The dogs skin turned green from the air pollution admitted by the plant located behind them. Thankfully the plant was closed two years ago because of a petition filed by Navsarjan. But unfortunately the land is now unusable but families still live within a hundred yards of the plant, and nothing is being done to ratified the damage they have done. 

The one thing about India that really bothers me (beside the way people treat animals, especially dogs), is the littering. The is an overall lack of education and a dependence on plastic that leaves much of India looking like this. This photo was one of the local village's pond which fed write into the water pump that the entire community drank from. 
More polluted water... : (
We actually caught this truck/company in the act of dumping waste right next to one of the villages we were visiting. He was essentially dumping it into the waterways. Don't worry I took plenty of pictures and got the license plate number. 
We took water samples from all of the villages we visited to send off to the lab. Below is a picture of the lake we took this sample from. 
The trees turned black and died because of all the chemicals in the water. Even sadder then this is the fact that a family that lived right next to this site, had a water pump they used for drinking water that drew directly out of this lake.

The entire time I was documenting the pollution, Sushma was documenting me. She says I need pictures of myself and that she is going to make a documentary about my trip. This was taken in the Industrial Corridor, where the corporations who are responsible for the pollution are located. I am taking a photo of a pump that was hooked up to a truck dumping stuff into the lake behind me. 
Here I am video tapping this gentleman's comments about the pollution. 
(Side note: Like me new Indian outfit? I know you were looking at it...haha! I am not so sure about the pants but the dress part is nice)

But I will keep you updated on my work and research as things progress. 
Now more then ever I feel blessed to have been born into the life that I was...where I never had to worry about the essentials...where my drinking water was not only safe for me to drink, but some of the best tasting in the country. (Thank you Washington) So this is a thanks to whomever or whatever gave me the life and opportunities that I have. 

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