NOAH SEELAM/ Afp photo
Today may be the 24th World Water Day, but it's also a reminder of the fact that more than half a billion persons in the world still don't have access to safe water.
Take a moment to consider this - getting safe water to drink, and to use, is so fundamental it borders the obvious. Yet there are people - numbering the population of the United States plus the population of Indonesia - that do not enjoy this right.
And of these, every 10th person is Indian. In fact, India has the highest number of persons in the world without access to safe water.
Ironically, world water day comes just two days before Holi, a day we spend by splashing around gallons of water.
Every government since Independence has tried to do something about this. So far, Rs 70,000 crore have been spent, but a 2011 calculation by the government found that Rs 3 lakh crore are needed.
Yet, 76 million Indians are still without safe water, 12 million more than China. About 20% drink water from sources that are deemed unsafe.
The numbers are shocking - and are a compelling reason to make this Holi eco-friendly and dry.
lakh crore rupees