IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
about 12 villages around the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh have been affected by fluoride contamination in the water. Consumption of the contaminated water has resulted in bone deformities among villagers; at least one member of every family in these villages is afflicted.
A water survey conducted by the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Indian Red Cross Society found that fluoride content in the region's water is eight per cent, when the permissible limit is only two per cent. According to a scientist working with the Indian Toxicology Research Centre ( itrc ), Lucknow, regular consumption of fluoride contaminated water can affect both nerves and bones. "Gradually it makes movement of limbs extremely difficult," he says. According to an itrc report, prolonged exposure to fluoride contaminated water also causes a variety of other diseases.
"Besides being a major health hazard, the contaminated water is also destroying crops and affecting animals," says Ashok Agrawal, head of the soil conservation department at the Chandrasekhar Azad Agricultural University, Faizabad. Admitting that there has been a decline in agricultural production in these villages, agriculture secretary of the state Keshav Desiraju said: "At this stage it is difficult to ascertain whether the high fluoride content is responsible for this situation."
Several petitions have been made by those afflicted, urging the government for help. But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. When the matter was reported to the Union government, it asked the Uttar Pradesh government to take immediate steps. However, officials from the state government have downplayed the magnitude of the crisis. They say the problem cannot be solved unless the factories -- which include textile, pharmaceutical and dying units, besides tanneries -- stop discharging effluents into the river.
Meanwhile, the villagers continue to suffer in silence. "People from neighbouring villages have boycotted us," says a villager. Ram Pyare of Siraha Khera, a village 70 km away from Unnao, laments, "Nobody wants to give their daughters as brides to men from our villages."
A scheme launched by the National Water Mission a decade ago remains a non-starter. The plant set up for this purpose in village Marrakala has been lying idle for several years for want of a cable, which was reportedly stolen soon after it was commissioned.