‘We Have Soap, Towel, Bucket but NO WATER for Bath’-MCC Civic Group Say against Water Scarcity
Mangaluru: Last time social and civic activist Gerard Towers was seen near the dilapidated Kadri Circle, opposite KFC portraying a scene of Hindu funeral rites, since accidents/fatalities used to take at that Circle- and this time Towers came up with yet another unique way of protesting against water scarcity/watering rationing in the City, by appearing half-naked and holding an empty blue bucket, a tray/soap- and a bath towel on his shoulder, to portray that even though he has all these items, but he can’t taker a shower/bath, due to water scarcity.
Such was the scene at the protest held by MCC Civic Group on Friday, 3 May 2019, in front of Mangaluru City Corporation building at 4.30 pm. Along with Towers, a bunch of MCC Civic Group members were also seen with soap and towel in their hands and raising slogans like “Beke Beku..Neeru Beku! “We Want Water,We Want Water “etc . And with a bunch of private water tankers supplying water to the residents in the City, the owners of these tankers are minting money by overcharging- and the members of this group allege that the officials at MCC are hand-in-hand with the water tanker owners, so that they also get a cut in the huge profits made by ripping off citizens. Bah humbug!
Speaking to Team Mangalorean Gerard Towers said, “Why is that every year we have to go through such inconveniences and hardships in need of water. Can’t our elected Netas plan well in advance the precautions that need to be taken in order to avoid water scarcity. Being known as a Smart City, it doesn’t look Smart at all, to implement water rationing for the residents, while liters of water is wasted at broken pipes due to construction work, or negligence, also lots of water used at car wash centres. Foreigners visiting our city are having their last laugh at this water rationing scheme. Our protest won’t end here today, instead, we will continue knocking on MCC officials and corporators doors and also posting civic issues on social media. If you ask me why have I come dressed half naked, and with an empty bucket, soap and towel, is to show our officials that I need to take a bath, but unfortunately I can’t due to water scarcity. If someone is not happy with my attire, I can’t help, I am expressing my frustration over water scarcity and rationing”.
Towers further said, “Apart from the water issue, we are also raising our voices against the non-completion of the Clock Tower, a nearly rs 90 lakhs project being stalled for months. What a waste of taxpayers money? We also want to highlight other civic issues like irregular and hazardous footpaths, unscientific drainage, lack of public toilets, clogged drainage, dilapidated roads and many other issues. We have submitted a memorandum to the concerned person in MCC, and will also forward one to DC and District-in-charge minister U T Khader. For our efforts, we also seek support from the public, where together we can make a difference. Thank You”.
Also speaking yet another activist Padmanabha Ullal said, “The water scarcity is not happening for the first time, it is an ongoing issue for three months every year. And knowing that why haven’t the concerned authorities, including minister U T Khader, DC Sasikanth Senthil taken any initiatives to rejuvenate water resources like tanks and open wells. It’s sad to note that the city is facing acute water shortage in spite of being close to the Western Ghats. We are trying hard to start Area Sabha and Ward Committee so that there will be a system and no corruption whatsoever while taking up developmental works- now the corporators are swallowing taxpayers money in a corrupt manner. This needs to be stopped, and very soon we will succeed”.
While a bunch of the protesters were carrying soap and bath towel in hand, a lady social activist had posted a message on WhatsApp group suggesting me that I should take toilet paper along too, saying no water for the bare essentials- and I did, for the fact, in case I had to use the toilet in the MCC building to poop, and if there was no water, toilet paper would come handy- and for that matter, I have very good experience in using the “Toilet Paper” being in the US for 23 years.
In conclusion, looking at the low turnout of the MCC Civic Group members, which happens at every protest or a meeting arranged to discuss or highlight civic issues, sends a wrong message to the public. At this protest, there were hardly 25 members of the MCC Civic group, which didn’t make sense, when there were nearly 15 media persons? When there are over 100 members in the Group, and over a thousand followers in their WhatsApp group, then why aren’t these folks coming forward openly during protests or meetings. Posting some crap on the WhatsApp page will not solve any civic issues, other than an argument between the bloggers on that page. And the worst part is that even a Founder Member of this MCC Civic Group avoids taking part in protests or meetings-how about that?-Is this unity you call within that group? Oh well, like they say “There’s no point crying over spilled milk”, whatever happened has happened, at least, hoping to see a large number of MCC Civic members in future protests or meetings. Expose yourself, raise your voice in the public, and NOT just sit behind a computer or with a smartphone in your hand, and incorporate crap on the WhatsApp page- Change and Make a Difference! Kudos to Gerard Towers, Rosy D’Silva, Padmanabha Ullal, Jonas, Ajoy D’silva, Anil D’Souza, Er Rajendra Kumar, and few others for their active participation in this protest. Others should follow in their footsteps/examples. Thank You.