Voice of Environment (VoE), an environmental organization based in Guwahati, Assam, has conducted a workshop entitled “Valuing Water: Groundwater Perspectives- Issue and Challenges”. The workshop is part of its ongoing initiative on environmental education and awareness mission among the students, youths and community.
Dr Ritusmita Goswami, Assistant Professor, Centre for Ecology, Environment, and Sustainable Development, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati, as a guest speaker; Dr Anu Sharma, Lecturer, Higher Education Department, Jammu University; Mcdonald Choudhury as moderator; and other VoE team members. Dr Anu Sharma began the workshop session by introducing the speaker, panel member, participants, and other VoE members. Then the session was continued and taken over by the guest speaker, i.e., Dr. Ritusmita Goswami. She has presented the groundwater scenario, especially the arsenic-related one. She has highlighted the major groundwater issues in India and the challenges in the northeastern part of the country. The discussions revealed that the groundwater arsenic scenario is alarming in NE India; particularly in Assam She has expressed the need for mass awareness among the people and government interventions to save the lives of millions from this menace.
After the session, people from different states and branches talked about what they thought about it. Anuradha, an environmental science student at GNK College in Haryana, thought the session was interesting and liked how the speaker explained things. Brotin Saha, from Don Bosco School, Tripura, understood the causes and consequences of arsenic pollution. Anwesha, from Sri Krishan Mission School in Tripura, got inspiration from the workshop and learned about the groundwater issues and their contamination, which caused an increase in arsenic. Dr. Mihir Herlekar of the Institute of Science, Mumbai, thought the session covered all of India’s policies on arsenic pollution and thanked the speaker and organizer for such a fruitful session. Nabarup Ganguli, from Tripura, expressed that the session was interactive and informative. He has also appreciated the Team VoE initiative for such educational sessions and looks forward to more such sessions in the future. The session is about human health and public awareness, according to Dr. Sneha Rashmi of A N College in Patna. She also thanks the speaker for the highlight. Arsenic groundwater contamination in different parts of the world results from natural and anthropogenic sources, adversely affecting human health and the ecosystem. Millions of people from other countries heavily depend on groundwater containing an elevated level of arsenic for drinking purposes. She added that mass awareness is the primary key to overcoming this arsenic problem. Ramtharmawi, from the Department of Forestry at Mizoram University, has observed the session as effective and knowledgeable. Debarpita Sil, an Environmental Studies student from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, found this session informative. Mahoya Debnath, from Sri Krishan Mission School, Tripura, learned a lot about the topic. The session ended with a vote of thanks.