FOR JNTUA, ANANTAPUR I. B.TECH STUDENTS
III Lesson Study Material - From “Enjoying Every day English” Text
WATER: THE ELIXIR OF LIFE
Sir C.V. Raman is an Indian physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for his work on molecular scattering of light and for the discovery of the Raman Effect. In this present lesson Raman vividly made an effort to bring about the importance of water. Since the time immemorial, man has sought in vain for an imaginary elixir of life, the divine Amrita. A draught of amrita was thought to confer immortality. But in the words of Sir C.V. Raman, the true elixir of life the plain water.
Sir C.V Raman recollects the day he was standing on the line which separates the Libyan Desert from the valley of the Nile in Egypt. On one side was visible a sea of billowing sand without any life and on the other side lay one of the greatest, most fertile and densely populated areas to be found anywhere on the earth. It was teeming with life and vegetation. It was due to the water of the river Nile. The ancient civilization of Egypt was created and sustained by the life giving waters which comedown year after year with unfailing regularity. He gives this example to emphasize that the common water is the most potent and the most wonderful thing on the face of our earth.
There is nothing which aids so much to the beauty of the country side as water. It may be just a little stream trickling over the rocks or it may be a little pond by the way side where the cattle quench their thirst of an evening. The rain fed tanks that are so common and play a vital role in south Indian agriculture. It is a cheering sight to see the sun rise or sunset over one of them. Water in a landscape may be compared to the eyes of a human face. It reflects the mood of an hour, being bright and gay when the sun shines. It turns to dark and gloomy when the sky is overcast. Therefore, C V Raman compares water in a landscape to the eyes in a human face.
One of the most remarkable facts about water is its power to carry silt in suspension. This is the origin of the characteristic colour of the water in rain fed tanks. The soil formed by silt thus deposited is very fertile. The flow of water can also play a destructive part and wash away the soil which is the foundation of all agriculture. If it is allowed to proceed unchecked, it will show the mostdisastrous effects on the life of our country. The problem of soil erosion is one of the serious problems in various countries and especially in many parts of India. Soil erosion occurs in successive steps. It gradually washes away the earth, making agriculture impossible. Sudden bursts of excessively heavy rain resulting in a large run of surplus water are the principal factors in causing soil erosion. It can be checked by terracing of the land, construction of bunds to check the flow of water, the practice of contour cultivation and the planting of appropriate types of vegetation.
Water is the basis of all life. Every animal and plant contains water in its body. Water is essential for the body, moisture in the soil is equally important for the life and growth of plants and trees. The conservation and utilization of water is fundamental for human welfare. Much of Indian agriculture depends on monsoon. It is clear that the adoption of techniques preventing soil erosion would help to conserve and keep the water where it is wanted.
In India, where we depend on seasonal rainfall, an immense quantity of rain water runs off the ground. The collection of rain water and utilizing them is very important. Vast areas of land which at present are scrub jungle. By courageous and well-planned action, it could be turned into fertile and prosperous country. The planning of trees in every possible way and the development of forest is one of the most urgent needs of India. Such plantation would check soil erosion.
In one sense, water is the commonest of liquids and on the other hand contains all amazing properties which are responsible for its unique power of maintaining plant and animal life. The investigation of the nature and properties of water is therefore should be of the highest scientific field of interest.
prepared by: Byreddy Balaji Reddy, Sr. Lecturer in English, JNTUACE, KALIKIRI.