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You Will Start Hating Nestle After Reading This!

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By Shelly Mahajan:

Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right
-Kofi Annan, United Nations former Secretary-General

If you were to buy gallons of drinking water every time you buy your house ration along with packets of Maggi or Nescafe, how do you think you would react?

Yes, soon that could be a reality.

october nestle alertWorld’s largest consumer goods company, Nestle (which gave us Kit Kat) has a plan, a plan for world’s seven billion and above huge population. The Swiss-based food processing giant is on a mission to privatize water universally. After a series of scandals to its credit, denouncing the right to water being an unalienable right hardly comes across as a shock but more like a planned business strategy that has been in the pipeline for a long time now.

Not a long time ago, a documentary, ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’ exposed how Nestle procured cocoa beans from Ivorian plantations that practices child slave labour of children between the ages of 11 to 16 years . The company also follows discriminatory practices against women cocoa growers.

In 2008, a Chinese-made Nestle milk product was found to contain melamine resulting in hospitalization of 860 babies and death of six infants due to kidney damage .

This is the same company that supports consumption of Genetically Modified food, has a worrying health and ethics record for its infant formula and monitors any online denigration of itself .

The company that has gone out of its way to commodify man’s essential need also stands aloof to the concern of millions who would not be able to afford the fluid, once privatized. Time and again, Nestle has proved that all it means to do is business, making every drop of water on the planet a private good, soon to be turned into a prodigy of branding.

England, under Margaret Thatcher, Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia are examples of states that experimented with commercialization and private sector involvement in water systems. However, the impact has been hugely unsatisfactory. United Nation’s Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) carried an assessment of the impact of water privatization. The report speaks volumes about commercialized nature of the measure, often with companies refusing to commit to concessional agreements and failing to provide clean, equitable and universally affordable access. As a result, in countries like Bolivia and Argentina such a step ended in disappointment, terminated operations and civilian manifestations.

Nestle has already done enough damage with its mineral water production. It is known to manipulate ground water resources by creating deliberate shortages and suck up gallons of water away from public reach causing deprivation and depletion .

In my view, restricting control of natural resources in hands of those few with business interests is absolutely unwarranted. Let’s not add another dimension to the already prejudiced world. Do you think a company that enjoys insensitive standpoints, interprets differed opinions as intemperance and worries only about its share of numbers is good enough to take care of our ‘human right’ to safe drinking water?

You must be to comment.
  1. Ishika

    I didnt know of the scandals that involved nestle till now… I used to be one of those kids who loved nestle for creating the kit kat! I can now understand… How can they do such illicit activities just for the sake of money? Its right money doesnt change you it changes the people around you… !

  2. Raj

    Another corporate-bashing article which misses the main point. Which is, should water be treated as national property or should it be left free for all? While a phrase like “Right to water” may sound cute, but what exactly does it mean? Passing a law doesn’t automatically make enough enough drinkable water for all.
    If water was a commodity which you had to purchase, people would actually start respecting it and not waste it. Companies (including the ones like Coca Cola whom the left loves to hate) would also be unable to deplete groundwater with impunity since they would have to pay. And that goes for farmers too who over-drill and sell water to city folks and also residents in cities who drill and sell water to their own neighbors!There would now be an incentive to develop advanced water purification that would recycle water or make potable water from sea water.

  3. manisha

    thank u soo much.. i will make sure that i dnt eat nestle products n wud also ask anyone whom i can to do the same…

  4. Divya priyadarsini

    just now i ate a kitkat dark chocolate!!!!!!!!!! OMG!

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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