Discussing Water Issues in India – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Discussing Water Issues in India

Since her semester abroad in India in the fall of 2009, Lisa Philippone ’11 has been working hard to research and explore the issues in Northern India concerning water and notions of purity and pollution in Indian society and religion. As a guest of the South Asia Speaker Series, she will give a talk about her research on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Blackwell Room located in Demarest Hall.

After studying abroad sparked her interest, Philippone returned to India to continue her research during the summer of 2010 as a recipient of the Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend.

“Water plays a large role in the lives of Indians, as not only the giver and sustainer of life, but a powerful and important aspect of Hinduism,” Philippone says.  “I lived in a small village in the northwestern state of Rajasthan and researched how the decades-long drought in the village is affecting the villagers, their ways of life, traditional rituals and religious beliefs.  I also lived in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where water is much more plentiful, as it is located on the banks of the Ganges River.  The river provides water for many, and is viewed as purificatory for Hindus, yet is so polluted.”

 In her discussion, she will “compare the ways that water is used, abused, and viewed in the drought state of Rajasthan versus on the banks of the Ganges River.  From dry desert, to polluted holy river, how do Hindus reconcile their beliefs of the purifying aspects of water when it is either scarce or polluted?”

This South Asia Speaker Series event is generously sponsored by the Provost’s Office.

For more information or special needs assistance contact Anthony Cerulli at cerulli@hws.edu