Target: Pranab Mukherjee, President of India
Goal: Improve drought conditions by reducing cultivation of sugar cane.
Two major trade unions in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have called for a boycott of sugary drinks produced by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. The region has suffered through two years of extreme drought conditions worsened by the continued production of water-intensive sugar cane. This has fueled a growing movement against foreign soft drink manufacturers blamed for siphoning drinking water sources to make up for the reduction in rainfall.
Rainfall from the annual monsoon season provides over 50% of the total water used for sugar cultivation in India. A dramatic 90% decrease in annual rainfall between 2015 and 2016 has led to a seven-year low in sugar production.
The Thamirabarani River provides a majority of the drinking water to residents of Tamil Nadu. Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have agreements with the local government to receive water from the river at an extremely low cost for sugar cultivation. As drought conditions have led beverage producers to draw increasing amounts of water, this has drained two large dams almost dry, with state officials indicating there was only enough drinking water to meet demand through February 2017. Public outcry fueled a regional court to temporarily suspend water rights to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo plants in Tamil Nadu.
Production of sugary drinks should not be continued at the expense of a resource vital for survival. Please sign the below petition calling on the President of India to suspend all sugar cultivation until water security can be guaranteed.
Dear President Mukherjee,
As you are aware, the recent drought conditions in India have reduced water resources to a dangerously low level. The production of sugar cane by foreign companies such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola has further restricted access to drinking water for millions. In response to this crisis thousands have pledged to boycott soft drinks and a high court has granted a temporary suspension of water rights to beverage producers in Tamil Nadu.
The continued health and survival of your constituents should not be sacrificed for the production of unnecessary sugary drinks. Please consider expanding the suspension of water usage for irrigation of sugar crops to all drought-impacted regions.
[Your Name Here]
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