WD News: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organised the highly anticipated third edition of the Women and Water Dialogue Series, which took place at the Triveni Ghat in the serene city of Rishikesh on the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5th 2023).
The dialogue series is a testament to the collaborative efforts of women, highlighting their commitment to the environment in under the Indo-German Development Cooperation project “Support to Ganga Rejuvenation II” commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented jointly with the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
Following the resounding success of the previous editions, this session shed light on the pivotal role of women in river rejuvenation, reducing pollution, and preserving the environment, thus aligning the Namami Gange initiatives with the changing needs of our ecosystem.
Distinguished experts and esteemed women leaders and volunteers from various fields graced the occasion, sharing their expertise and knowledge to drive positive change.
Ms. Ruchi from National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) gave the welcome address. She shared insightful perspectives on the role of women in river rejuvenation and the steps needed to combat pollution and preserve our environment.
The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Martina Burkard, Head of the Programme Support to Ganga Rejuvenation at GIZ India. Her inspiring words set the stage for a meaningful dialogue on women empowerment to foster their involvement in Namami Gange initiatives. She urged all the women to come together to change the mindset of people, be a part of decision-making process and get united for the cause of water and for the men to understand the significance of the role of women.
The highlight of the event was the panel discussion – uniting women from diverse backgrounds and walks of life to amplify their transformative role in the water sector. The panellists shared their experiences, ideas, and strategies for water and waste management, forest conservation, and the overall empowerment of women for river water conservation. The panellists included Dr. Atya Kapley, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur; Ms. Namita Tripathi, State Mission for Clean Ganga (SMCG), UP; Ms. Meenakshi, Jal Nigam; Ms. Usha Thapliyal, Jal Sanrakshan Samiti (by World Bank); Dr. (Mrs.) Sangeeta Madan, Professor – Department. of Environmental Science, Gurukula Kangri (Deemed to be University), Haridwar; Ms. Poonam Rana, Principal, GGIC Haridwar; Ms. Mitali Rawat, Waste Warriors Society, Dehradun; Ms. Sangeeta Thapliyal, Gram Pradhan, Khadri; and Mrs. Neelam Kala, Social Worker, Chamoli. Ms. Anupama Madhok Sud, Director & Editor, Water Digest, moderated the session.
The panellists discussed the problems arising from solid and liquid waste pollution, role of individual stakeholders – women in particular (from government, industry, and community) – towards making incentive-based strategies for local communities led by women and mobilising them to participate in the conservation and rejuvenation of river Ganga. The engaging discussions culminated in a clear agreement on the urgent need to elevate women leaders at the forefront of such campaigns.
As the session drew to a close, Dr. Anjana Pant, Advisor Water Resources Management at GIZ India, expressed gratitude and presented a thank you note. The latest edition of Women and Water Dialogue Series recognised and celebrated the indispensable role of women in the pursuit of a cleaner and rejuvenated Ganga River.