पाणी म्हणजे जीवन ,पण हेच पाणी जेव्हा जीवन संपवत तेव्हा त्याला जीवन का म्हणाव?  असा प्रश्न पडतो .गेल्या वर्षी ऋषिकेश आणि हरिद्वार येथे आलेल्या पुरात यात्रेकरू वाहुन गेले तेव्हा पाऊस पापाचा धनी झाला . दर वर्षी अशी आपत्ती येत असते. ह्या वर्षी कोसीच्या पुरात अनेक वाहून गेले. आसाम तर दर वर्षी ब्रह्मपुत्रेच्या पाण्याने धुवून निघतो. अश्या अप्पातीत टिकून आहे ती जिद्द, जगण्यावरचा अन जागवण्यावरचा दृढ विश्वास. मराठवाड्याला गेले कित्तेक वर्ष कोरड्या दुष्काळाचा सामना करावा लागतो. नागपुरातही संत्र्याच्या बागा कावडीन शिम्प्याव्या लागतात. जीवापाड जपलेली बाग जेव्हा उन्हान करपते तेव्हा काळजाला भोक पडतात ,मन कातर होत. अगदीच असह्य झाल तर बागही टिकवता आली नाही अन कर्जही चुकवता आल नाही म्हणुन कास्तकार स्वतःलाच संपवुन टाकतो. तो संपला तरी संपत नाही कुटुंबाचे भोग. कृषक म्हणजे राजा त्याच्याच पाठी मरणाचा भोग.

अनेक योजना आल्या प्रचंड पैसा खर्च झाला पण शेतकरी गरीबच राहिला. पाण्यासाठी खर्च केलेले कोट्यावधी रुपये वाया गेले.एका राज्यातील पाणी शेजारच्या राज्याला आणि  एका जिल्हातील पाणी दुसऱ्या जिल्हाला  देण्यावरून असंतोषाने उग्र रूप धारण करायला सुरवात झाली. आग पाण्याने विझत होती ,आता पाण्यामुळे आग पेटू लागली. इतकी कि दोन सक्के शेजारी, दोन जवळचे जिल्हे एकमेकाच्या जीवावर उठले. उसाच्या शेतीन सार  पाणी गटागटा पिऊन कि वो टाकल. शिरीमंतीच्या अति हव्यासापायी सार पाणीच संपवून टाकल. आपण कधी दुसऱ्याचा विचार करायला शिकणार ? माझ्या जिल्हात पडणार पाणी माझच हा मालकी हक्क सांगू लागलो तर पुस्तकातल्या सारे भारतीय माझे बांधव आहेत त्या वर्षानु वर्ष घेतलेल्या प्रतीज्ञेच काय ? कशाला असलं खोट सोंग रचायचं? हव्यास वाढला कि शोषण वाढत. अति पिकासाठी रासायनिक खत, अति पाण्यासाठी खोलच खोल जाणारे बोअर ,किंवा विंधन विहिरी. ह्या विंधन विहिरीच्या हव्यासापायी दर वर्षी
भारतात कुठेना कुठे दुर्धर प्रसंग ओढवतो. कधी राजस्थानमध्ये तर कधी गुजरात मध्ये. मोकळ्या सोडलेल्या विंधन विहिरीत खेळायला गेलेली लहान मुल पडतात आणि आपला जीव गमावून बसतात . जीवन जगवण्यासाठी  केलेले शर्थीचे प्रयत्न लहान   बालकाचे जीवन संपवुन टाकतात. वर्तमान पत्रात रकानेच्या रकाने येतात पण आम्ही त्यातून काहीच धडा घेत नाही. आमच्या साठी ती फक्त चटका लावणारी बातमी असते अन वर्तमान पत्राच्या संपादकाला एक होत न्युज !

दोन आठवड्यापूर्वी कर्नाटकात हनुमन्ता हट्टी ह्या शेतकऱ्याच्या शेतात त्यानेच मारलेल्या बोअर मध्ये त्याचाच आठ वर्षाचा मुलगा खेळताना पडला . त्याला वाचवण्याचे शर्थीचे प्रयत्न सुरु झाले. मिल्ट्रीची मदत घेतली गेली. तीनशे फुट बोअरच्या त्या खड्यात अंदाजे दीडशे फुटावर मुलगा अडकला होता. त्याला वाचवण्याच्या मोहिमेत यंत्रणा राबत होती. त्या बोअरला समांतर दुसरा बोअर खणून त्या मुलाला वाचवण्याचा प्रयत्न चालू होता. अर्थात मुलाच्या आई बाबांची अवस्था  केविलवाणी झाली होती तेथे जमलेल्या बघ्यांचा श्वास थांबल होता. मात्र इतक्या प्रयत्न नंतरही यश येत नव्हते उलट खणा  खणीत  जमिनीची वाट लागत होती ते पाहून हन्मान्ताचा जीव टांगणीला लागाला होता एकीकडे मुलगा वाचावा  म्हणून ईश्वराची प्रार्थना तर दुसरीकडे कम्वाशी केलेली जमीन वाया  जात  असल्याचे दुखं. सार  शेतच उखडल जात आहे हे पाहुन तो कळवळला. बोअर मध्ये पडलेला मुलगा आता वाचणार नाही पण शेतीची नासधूस झाली तर कशाच्या आधारावर मी दोन मुली जगवू ? हा प्रश्न त्याला  भेडसावत  होता लोक आपल्याला काय म्हणतील ह्याची तमा न बाळगता तो मिल्ट्री अधिकाऱ्याला  म्हणाला “साहेब बास झाल तुमच शोध घेण , सगळी जमीन वाट लावली बगा तुम्ही उद्या जमीनच ऱ्हायली नाही तर कशाच्या आधारावर दोन मुली जगवू ? त्याच ते वाक्य ऐकणाऱ्या माणसाच्या काळजाला चटका लावून गेल. भाविषाची भीती माणसाला नेहमीच सतावत असते

हनुमता त्याला अपवाद कसा असणार ? कोठे पाऊसाने जीवन संपवलं होत इथे कोरड्या बोअरने आत पडलेल्या मुलाच आणि बाहेर उभ्या असलेल्या आणि भाविषाच्या काळजीने ग्रासलेल्या आई बापाच जीवन संपवलं होत. पाणी जीवन देतेही अन जीवन नेतेही पण पाण्याच्या ध्यासापाई खणलेल्या बोअरने आणि माणसाच्या निष्काळजी वृतीने आज दोघांच जीवन संपवलं. या पुढे खरच पाण्याला जीवन म्हणाव का ? 

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