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Mission Paani’s Launch at the World Water Week in Stockholm Was an Insightful Event

Harpic-News18 Mission Paani makes its presence felt at World Water Week.

Updated:August 30, 2019, 9:51 PM IST
Mission Paani’s Launch at the World Water Week in Stockholm Was an Insightful Event
Harpic-News18 Mission Paani makes its presence felt at World Water Week.

The global launch of Harpic-News18 “Mission Paani” took place at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 29. The World Water Week is organised by SIWI, which is the leading annual global event that addresses the impending water crisis and other related concerns on an international level.

At a time when 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about 0.2 million people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, a robust water conservation plan is needed. Mission Paani is one such step that aims to affect the entire nation.

We launched the campaign with a set of five panelists addressing the crowd and discussing water-related problems during the World Water Week. Hosted by Anand Narasimhan, the panel consisted of experts and eminent personalities like Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Union Minister for Jal Shakti), Param Iyer (Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti), Narasimhan Eswar (Senior Vice President and Managing Director, RB Hygiene & Home, South Asia, RB), Katarina Veem (Director, Swedish Water House, SIWI), and Vedica Bhandarkar (CEO, water.orgIndia).

Narasimhan addressed the three important pillars of the mission -- Awareness, Participation, and Impact -- and talked about how we have got enough water in India but lack the means to conserve it. Here’s how the panel took the discussion ahead.

Shekhawat inspired the audience. He said, “We need to work with conviction otherwise our generation will have to work with compulsion”.

Wise words indeed!

Param Iyer, who leads the Swacch Bharat Andolan, had a few key takeaways that could be used in Mission Paani too. He talked about the four P’s that made his previous endeavours successful that can make Mission Paani a success story. And those are:

Political Leadership - the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi led it

Public Financing - putting money where the mind is

Partnerships - don’t treat it as a government programme but a people’s programme

People’s participation - Make it Jan Andolan, a people’s movement

These key lessons could be the guiding force towards Mission Paani’s success.

Adding on to it, Veem talked about the challenges related to conserving water. She spoke about the fact that it’s not just access to water that is a problem, it’s also about limiting emerging pollutants we often cannot see with our naked eyes. With climate change and the rise in temperature, the challenge becomes bigger.

Eswar spoke about water and sanitation and the fact that India is a country where if there is no water, there won’t be any sanitation either. And that’s why the urgency increases manifold.

Bhandarkar put things in perspective. Addressing the audience, she spoke about how more than two billion people already live in countries with high water stress and a large number of those live in India. Women and girls spend more than 200 million hours every year just to collect water.

We all need to think and absorb this information and when we do, we need to resolve to do something about it as a nation and as a planet.

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