WD News: The ‘water conversation’ series by WforW Foundation, which began in April’2021, has completed over 100 sessions and connected with nearly 250 speakers. A compilation is available on TouTube.
Water Fest: ‘be like water’
To continue these water conversations, the WforW team recently planned a ‘Water Fest’ to rest and reflect upon the learning of the sharing by the speakers and the team who made this possible.
The Water Fest was organised in collaboration with WforW Foundation, Tata Institute of Social Science Hyderabad (TISS), and Foundation for Ecological Security (FES). Located at TISS Hyderabad from January 11-12, 2023, the theme of Water Fest was, ‘be like water’ which manifests as, ‘we are flowing together like a river touching the banks of knowledge that each one of us holds.’
Dr Bibhu Prasad Nayak served at the two days’ Water Fest as Institutional Host from TISS Hyderabad. Both days started with fieldwork ‘Walk a Lake, Talk a Lake’ and ended with interactive games – ‘Open House’. The first day lake walk was organised by Subba Rao and Mansee Bal Bhargava at Hussainsagar Lake. On second day, the lake walk was organised by Madhulika Choudhary (assisted by Garbhit Naik) at Neknampur lake.
The first day ‘Open House’ was organised by Vidya Ramesh (assisted by Harshita Sehgal) with participants writing the names of rivers and streams and locate them on the Map of India. The second day ‘Open House’ was organised by Ganesh Shankar (assisted by Hemang Vellore) with participants writing their water concerns and reflecting upon the possible solutions besides writing their own ways to address them.
The two keynote speakers for the two days were hardcore water warriors. On day-one, Aabid Surti, the ‘Leakage Man of India’ and Founding Director of Drop-Dead Foundation spoke passionately about the purpose of life and his efforts of fixing leaking taps. On day-two, Phoolbasan Bai Yadav, a Padma Shri, a social activist and Director of Maa Bamleshwari Janhitkari Samiti stressed upon the strength of women and the power of collective.
There were four ‘dialogue sessions’ in two days. Dialogue-one (Panellists: Dr Rajkumari Sunita Devi, Sonia Gupta and Neha Sarwate) was about ‘Water in the Development Process’. Dialogue-two (Panellists: Dr Jayati Chourey, Dr Nivedita Sahu, Dr Meganathan PR and Dr Mamata Mohapatra) was about ‘Water from an Ecological Perspective’. Dialogue-three (Panellists: Dr Bejoy Thomas, Dr Girija K Bharat, Dr Jenia Mukherjee, and KJ Joy) was about ‘Integration in Water Education’. Dialogue-four (Panellists: Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava, Preeti Rao, Chandrashekharan Jayaraman, Kanna K Siripurapu, and Richu Sanil) was about ‘Water, Gender, and Women’.
“A Documentary Film, namely ‘Mission Ahsaas’ – about revival of a waterscape in Kashmir was presented by director-producer Adbul Rashid Bhat. The second day concluded with expression of gratitude to nearly 250 speakers of 100+ sessions and 20+ team members. This was followed by a Book Cover launch of ‘Hydropreneurs in Water Conversation towards Water Conservation’. Around 80 people attended the Water fest each day.”
Source & images courtesy: Mansee Bal Bhargava / WforW Foundation