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Monday, September 4, 2023

the drinking water in school (of our times)

Remember your school days…. [if you are 40+] ~ there used to be rusted iron pipes from the water tank……. Students would line before the water tank [very thought would make modern day youngsters and mothers scary] – there would be no tumblers or receptacles,  one would  open the tab / lift the nozzle, keep one’s hand in a manner that falling water would find its way to the mouth……none cared to check of its purity, taste, colour, odour and more…….. a few decades earlier, perhaps none would have imagined that water would be ‘crore industry – with multi-brands’ ruling the market…life has changed since !!


ஆட்டோகிராப் படத்தில் சேரன் ஒரு அற்புத பாடலை தந்தார்.  அதில் அவர் நினைவு கூறும் விஷயங்களில்  முக்கியம் பள்ளி நாட்கள்.   (எதிரில் சென்ற அல்லது எதிர் வீட்டில் இருந்த மாணவி ஞாபகம் வந்தால் நீங்களும் ஒரு சராசரி மாணவனே !)  :   

ஞாபகம் வருதே !   ஞாபகம் வருதே   !!

பொக்கிஷமாக நெஞ்சில் புதைந்த  நினைவுகள் எல்லாம் ஞாபகம் வருதே !  

முதன் முதலாக ஓட்டிய சைக்கிள்  !  முதல் வகுப்பெடுத்த மல்லிகா டீச்சர்

(உங்கள் பள்ளி ஆசிரியர் பெயர் ஞாபகம் உள்ளதா?) .. .. மற்றும் உங்கள் பள்ளியில் வரிசையில் நின்று  (அல்லது மற்றவர்களை புறம் தள்ளி) - கையை மடித்து, குஷாயை சற்றே  தூக்கி சில்லென்று தண்ணீர் பருகிய அனுபவம் ஞாபகம் உள்ளதா !  

None would have imagined that water would become a hot selling commodity commanding crores; nor that so many brands would vie to capture market share. From potable water to mineral water, as it was sold in the beginning……  mineral water actually, is water from a mineral spring containing various minerals such as salts and sulphur compounds.  

We have travelled a very long way in the recent couple of decades – from tap water to mineral water……….. now lot many of us fear of water contamination, apprehending that we are susceptible to some infection, if we drink water elsewhere……. Where has the immunity gone or has the water outside turned worser  ?  

Even in costly Hotels, before you order food, they try to sell the mineral water – is it not their duty [and included in the cost] to serve quality potable water ? – then why ask whether it is ordinary water of quality mineral water that one wants ??  

People walk and live with Mineral water… in bottles, cans and in every form. In its true form, Mineral water is water containing minerals or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value, generally obtained from a naturally occurring mineral spring or source. Mineral water can be sparkling (with effervescence), or still (without effervescence).  So you derive more value if you consume the mineral water at its source often curatory.  There are some Tourist centres built around the mineral water sites of ancient times in Europe and elsewhere. 

What we buy is not actually ‘mineral water’ – but simply packaged water – and in that context the ‘amma water’ is a big hit.  Many (un)branded water products are not treated properly but simply packed and distributed.   Whilst no classification or control seemingly exists in our Country, in US the Food and Drug Admn classifies mineral water as water containing at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids, originating from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. No minerals may be added to this water. 

Bisleri was the first branded water introduced in Indian market by Bisleri Limited, a company of Italian origin that stormed the market way back in 1965 ! Almost 50 years ago, somebody thinking that water could be sold and marketed is really ingenuous !!   later Parle bought the Company and continued with Bisleri water.  It was first in glass bottles, then PVC nonreturnable and then to PET over the years.  Now, We have so many brands available in the market such as : Aquafina, Bailey, Bibo,  Bisleri,  Dew Drops,  Golden Eagle, Haywards, Himalayan, Just Born, Kingfisher,  Snow pure etc.,   Today, production and distribution of packaged water is a multi crore industry. 

Tomorrow is Teachers’ Day and remembering the school we studied as also thanni kuzhai !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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