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Short Stories for Children of all Ages: A jug of water Pedagogical Project “The Joy of Reading”
A jug of water

If we go on using the Earth uncaringly and without replenishing it, then we are just greedy consumers. We should take from the Earth only what are our absolute and basic necessities: things without which we cannot survive. The Earth has an abundance of everything, but our share in it is only

what we really need.

Mahatma Gandhi was staying with the first Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, in the city of Allahabad. In the morning Gandhi was washing his face and hands. Mr. Nehru was pouring water from the jug as they talked about the problems of India. As they were deeply engaged in serious discussion, Gandhi forgot that he was washing; before he had finished washing his face, the jug became empty. So Mr. Nehru said, “Wait a minute and I will fetch another jug of water for you.” Gandhi said, “What! You mean I have used all that jugful of water without finishing washing my face? How wasteful of me! I use only one jug of water every morning.

He stopped talking; tears flowed from his eyes. Mr. Nehru was shocked. “Why are you crying, what has happened, why are you worried about the water? In my city of Allahabad there are three great rivers, the Ganges, the Jummar and the Saraswati, you don’t need to worry about water here!

Gandhi said, “Nehru, you are right, you have three great rivers in your town, but my share in those rivers is only one jug of water a morning and no more.

Satish Kumar
Jonathon Porrit
Save the Earth
London, Dorling Kindersley, 1991

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