World Water Day

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"World Water Day"
WheezyWaiter video
Episode no. Episode 630
Original Upload date March 22, 2012
Running time 0:05:14
Intro Wheezy beard intro
Wink submitted by WheezyWaiter
Great People
Guests: Mike McCamon
Lots of people in India
Episode chronology
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"How to Balance"
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"OK Stop"



Hey beardlovers. It's March 22nd. World Water Day. Probably a good time for me to talk about my trip to India with water dot org where I learned all about the water crisis.
When I first got to Mumbai, though, I had to do a bit of bird-watching out my hotel window. Been doing it for years. Kind of a bird genius. Benius? Anyway, observe.
[Craig in a hotel room] There's these crazy green birds flying around! [Outside his window, a green bird flies by.]
[Wheezy Waiter beard intro]
So. India. It's a country of about 1 point 2 billion people. That's four times as many people as the U.S. And 1 point 2 billion times as many people as me.
And everything I read tells me that despite high poverty, its economy is [text over his mouth: one of] the fastest-growing in the world. All of this is apparent when you look at the traffic.
[Throughout the video, footage from India plays to illustrate what Craig describes and there are occasional cuts back to Craig in his apartment.]
You have modern cars, rickshaws, bicycles, dudes on bikes, families on bikes.
India does not have any traffic laws, it seems.
I'm gonna lie to you. I was not terrified at all.
Here's us not really in a lane while we wait to pass a... just a propane truck. And as we're passing, this is where we died. Oh! Oh wait, we barely escaped death.
This kind of thing happened to them all the time, and it was completely normal to them so maybe it's safer than it appeared. [A car is backing up as a bus passes by not far away .] Maybe.
Anyway, before I got there, I also read a lot of warnings about not drinking water from the tap. Why is this? Well, we saw one reason one block from our hotel, and Mike from water dot org explained.
[Mike:] So it's... open defecation is a big problem in India. And one of the things that people don't know about the water crisis is that that's kind of where the whole health issue starts. Water is not by nature contaminated. It gets contaminated. And this is one of the ways, particularly in India, that it gets contaminated is through open defecation.
Here's a public bathroom from one of the villages we went to. And here's another. And here's a river. You can see the problem here.
And here's some cows. The cows are irrelevant. Just thought you'd like to see some cows.
So the water was unclean, and I was supposed to drink bottled water. But in the slums we went to, they can't afford bottled water. How do they get their water? This handsome gentleman in the field will tell you.
[More footage from India. Craig talks.] Right now we're in a community here where they're all gathered to get water from the pump. These people have to take up to three ... maybe more ... hours out of their day to come here, to get water... sometimes fight over it... when it would make so much more sense if they could just get water right in their own home.
The city brings in water once a day. Sometimes none-ce a day. It's inconsistent. Villagers don't really know when. And they still have to struggle in line for it.
These people from a different village use water from a nearby river, which is likely polluted. And then they carry everything back home. And carry it. And carry it.
This is a goat. [Craig stands by a goat.]
But since they're used to water from the pump, they must be immune to the sickness and disease by now, right? Well, this family lives near a city garbage dump.
[A man speaks and Farhat translates.]
[Farhat:] Four times in a month he used to go to the doctor, only because of this water. They need to pay around 200 to 300 per visit. [Craig's subtitle indicates that 200 to 300 is $4 to $6.]
[Mike:] And in his carpenter job, how much does he make a day?
[Farhat:] He's saying that there is no fixed income. Maybe around 500 rupees. [$10] Or else he'll be just sitting in the house for four full days.
So because of the water crisis, people are getting sick, losing money to the doctor, and using valuable time just to get the water. How can we help? Well, water dot org works with groups like ESAF whom our translator Farhat works for. ESAF identifies and educates people in need from the slums.
[Mike:] About the need for having safe water and how to handle water, do the community, basically, organizing that you have to do long before you ever get to the point where you can actually get out and take out a loan and actually solve that problem.
Often groups of women will band together to apply for a loan to get water and toilets directly into their homes. [A group of women standing together while a boy with his arms crossed stands nearby.] I was just like that kid. [Arrow points to the boy.]
ESAF will also convince banks that these loans to people in the slums are a good investment. Why are they a good investment? Well, I asked this rooster and he told me.
After their loan, instead of this [public space where people go to the toilet], they have this [an outhouse].
Instead of this [people gathered around the pump], they have this [a woman walks to a tap in her hard and fills a jug with water.]
With water in the home, instead of fighting for hours a day to get water or spending your money on doctor bills, you can do chores in the home.
This is where they wash their clothes, and then the runoff goes out into a garden so they don't waste any of the water. And what are they growing out here? This one's beans?
[Mike:] You can see the bean there.
Or pick up a trade and make money. Ranjana's a perfect example.
[Farhat:] She did not have to spend so much money on the doctor, and by saving that money she has purchased this sewing machine, and she has started the business now. And now this business is growing.
[Her family poses together and laughs.]
So best of all, this isn't just building a well and walking away. This is setting up a system that will build on itself.
It's an economy where banks will actually benefit from giving loans to the local impoverished population. At least that's what this cow told me. [Craig stands near a cow.]
Now, we just gotta do something about that traffic situation. [Shot of traffic]
[Wheezy Waiter outro]
[Craig winks (ding)]
So if you'd like to learn more about water dot org, you can go to water dot org slash wheezywaiter but if you don't know how to read or you just don't like reading, you can click here and go to a video and learn more about it. [Points to annotation] Click right there. Right there.
We were walking around this little village in rural India, and I thought it kind of looked like Zelda. I climbed up those stairs, got five rupees right there, and then climbed up here. I'm gonna grab a chicken, jump off the roof, and fly down to the bottom.
So I'm here at the Mumbai Domestic Airport... [Sees a poster of the cover of a magazine with Matt Damon.] Oh hey, it's co-founder of Matt Damon. Hey, thanks for joining us. So tell me, what was the most interesting thing about your trip so far? Oh. He has to go. [Points to name of magazine which looks like "Go". Craig walks away.]

Recurring elements

beardlovers, wink

External links

World Water Day on YouTube