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[Articles & News] Sight of people fighting over water sends plumbers on to India's streets.

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Post time: 9-10-2019 11:29:44 Posted From Mobile Phone
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With the country’s major cities set to run out of groundwater in 2020, volunteers are helping to conserve precious supplies.
Image
Indian plumber Dibakar Das, who works with water conservationist Aabid Surti, during his rounds in
Mumbai. The initiative aims to repair plumbing problems for free. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty
▼ Drenched in perspiration on a muggy Sunday afternoon in New Delhi, Ashia Saifi climbs up and down the stairs of apartment buildings, ringing on doorbells and asking if residents have any leaking taps they want fixed.
Sometimes, the door is slammed shut in her face. People are scared of intruders and strangers, even though Saifi sports a little white cap that’s the emblem of the Aam Aadmi party (Common Man), or AAP, which rules the Indian capital.
But other times, she, and the plumber accompanying her, are invited in, and they check for leaks in bathrooms and kitchens.
Saifi and the plumber, Mohammed Nazim, are part of a water saving campaign launched by AAP leader Somnath Bharti in his constituency of Malviya Nagar. Bharti was inspired by Aabid Surti, a former cartoonist and writer, who offers the same  serviceto homes in Mumbai.
Bharti says it was the sight of “people fighting over water, people crying over water” in slum areas of New Delhi, where residents rely on tankers to deliver water, that galvanised him into action.
“We use WhatsApp to organise our volunteers who go whenever they have time – during weekdays or weekends. It’s serving a dual purpose. The team of volunteers and a plumber fix the leaks but also make people aware of the need to save water if the city is to be spared the dire predictions of experts,” says Bharti.
A reportlast year by the government-run thinktank NITI Aayog predicted that 21 major cities in India are poised to (▪ ▪ ▪)

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