When Chhutki opens her eyes she
finds they are standing in a narrow, dirty street of a very crowded, noisy town. There are
houses, shops, people, animals and vehicleseverywhere. To the left, is a water pipe where
a group of people clamour
as they collect water, bathe, wash clothes and utensils from a tap which is flowing
onn-stop. Just nearby is a large sewer pipe which is leaking.
Baadshah: Look, Chhutki,
you mentioned that one of your friend is suffering from jaundice . This is one way how to
get that dangerous infection.(Pointing at the water pipe and sewer pipe.) Now, see. There
is a horrible leaking sewer pipe near the water pipe. Infection from the leaking sewage
can easily spread to the water line however small the leakage may be. This can
also lead to intestinal infections and gastric problems.
Chhutki : Goodness! I must
tell them. (She rushes towards the people and tries to talk to them.)
Oh please, stop! Don't use this water, it could be infected. See, there is that
leaking sewer line nearby. Have it properly repaired first. If you don't, you can get very
ill. (The people stare at her for a moment, then get busy with what thet were doing,
laughing and chatting as if she wasn't there. Chhutki returns, most annoyed.) I don't
believe it. They won't even listen!
Baadshah: (Shaking his head
knowingly.) Come this way, Chhutki. (He takes her towards the side, from where they can
see a part of the river bank below. It is an awful sight. The water in the river is dirty
and still. In it, all kinds of garbage-old tyres, wood, tin cans, bottles, rags, kitchen
waste etc. are seen floating.) Doesn't this look like those pictures in your books?
Chhutki : Even worse than
those pictures. Truely, I am worried! How could people do this?
Baadshah: As i said before,
some don't know, while others don't care.
Chhutki : Should we not
care for our rivers which provide us with water for drinking, bathing, and washing? Can we
do without water.. clean water? We have to do something, soon!
Baadshah: Most definately!
But what do you have in mind?
Chhutki : I will get all my
friends together and tell them about all that I have seen. I am sure they too must
have seen things like these and are just as concerned. We will then plan how to spread the
word to people so that they know what is happening and ask them for their help.
Baadshah:A good beginning,
Chhutki. But now, it's time you got back home and completed your project.
Chhutki : You know about
Baadshah: Well, I do sit on
your table most of the time .
Heh, heh! (He chuckles.)
Chhutki :What? Oh, the
Baadshah doll! Well, yes, you do. Let's go home now and goodbye to you for now. I'll tell
you all about what we should do to keep our rivers claen when I see you next. Right now, I
have lots to get done.
Baadshah: Well then,
goodbye, good luck....
Just shut your eyes and count till three
And soon all safe, at home, you'll be.