| Manish Kumar gives a demonstration at Rajendra Nagar locality on Monday. Picture by Nagendar Kumar Singh |
Manish Kumar is a man with a mission. With a portable gadget in hand, he is reaching out to people to make them aware of the quality of water they consume.
This 32-year-old man has been visiting different localities for the past three days, collecting samples of water and getting them tested with his gadget — an electrolyser — in front of the residents. The results have been shocking so far.
The misuse of public money inspired Manish to gauge the purity of water the people are gulping. “While working as a contractor in the public health and engineering department in Muzaffarpur, I saw how public money was misused. I got the first-hand experience of the scam involved in the installation of handpumps, compelling people to drink dirty water. The idea of making people aware of the harmful effects of drinking dirty water cropped up in my mind that time only but I did not have the equipment to test water then. Two weeks ago, one of my friends (a businessman) gifted me this gadget and I thought now I can start my mission. So I started the work,” said Manish, basically a farmer who owns around four-and-a-half acres of land at Motipur village in Muzaffarpur.
Explaining how the water-testing gadget functions, Manish said: “It passes electricity through water and shows all the organic and inorganic matter,” said Manish, who studied up to Class IX in a government school in Muzaffarpur.
On Monday, Manish carried out water tests at a slum area in the Rajendra Nagar locality. The residents of the area were “enlightened” after the water test.
“Manishji showed us the impurities in water, which we consume. We did not know that we are drinking so much dirty water. He also told us about the harmful effects of drinking dirty water. He said it could cause diarrhoea, cholera and other diseases. Manishji has asked us to drink boiled water. We shall definitely follow his directive. We have realised that if we keep drinking dirty water, we shall fall sick,” said Vishwanath Paswan, a rickshaw-puller and one of the residents of the slum area.
Akali Devi, another resident of the area, said: “Manishji is doing a noble job. He will not earn a penny by conducting water tests, but still he is carrying out the programme for our sake. I think the state government should take some initiative to check the quality of water of different localities.”
Manish has so far conducted water tests in two more localities in Ambedkar Colony and another slum area of Rajendra Nagar.