Sambalpur: In order to raise awareness on water conservation, a few young people have got together to organise a ‘Youth for Water’ campaign. Odisha’s ‘Water Man’ Ranjan Panda took the initiative for the campaign.
As part of the campaign members from across the state attended a meeting organised by Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO), a consortium of civil society organisations and concerned citizens, local youth-based NGO Patang and Unicef, Bhubaneswar office.
The meeting decided to initially mobilise at least a thousand youth from various colleges, universities and associations on water, sanitation, hygiene (including menstrual) (WASH), rivers, environment and climate change issues to bring positive change in their behaviour and organise common action initiatives.
“Our objective is to build relationship between youth and water in ways that will help them understand the importance of water resources including rivers and other surface water bodies, groundwater and the entire ecology that will help them work towards conserving these resources so that they can ensure a water-secured future for themselves. We as mentors will assist them in achieving this goal,” said Panda, convenor of WIO.
Panda also stressed that the organisation will focus on activities related to WASH by identifying ambassadors for “Safe Water/WASH” who will help mobilise their families, neighbourhoods and institutions in joining the efforts.
Colleges and institutions will see specific activities being organised, particularly in Bargarh, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada, Puri and Sambalpur. They will be empowered with a ‘Youth for Water’ club, an idea that was conceived during the 3rd Odisha River Conference, organised by WIO and 35 partner organisations, at Baripada on March 24 and 25.