L to R: Ms Anupama Madhok Sud, Editor & Director, Water Digest; BK Sister Shivani from the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Movement of India; Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, H.E. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to India and Sri Lanka; and Shri Umesh Kumar Sharma, Director, Water Digest.
WD News: Water Digest celebrated the achievements of the Water Warriors on March 16, 2023 in New Delhi by felicitating them with the Water Digest Water Awards 2022-23.
More than 200 guests from India and overseas gathered at the star-studded gala event. The momentous occasion acknowledged the distinguished work carried out by government and private entities, NGOs, schools & colleges, RWAs, and individuals in the water sector. The theme of Water Digest Water Awards, #UnitedForWater, aimed to establish the confluence of all stakeholders in the water sector, in tandem with Water Vision@2047 as part of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s India@2047 plan.
Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, presided over the ceremony as the chief guest. BK Sister Shivani from the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Movement of India, and H.E. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to India and Sri Lanka graced the evening as special guests, along with Ms Anupama Madhok Sud, Editor & Director, Water Digest, and Shri Umesh Kumar Sharma, Director, Water Digest. Dr Benno Boer, Programme Specialist and Chief of Section-Natural Sciences, UNESCO and Ms Annette Bos, Director of Global Aquatech Events shared their video messages.
Giving the industry perspective to the audience in his address, Shri Anshuman, Associate Director, Water Resources, TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), stated that we must be more efficient in sectoral water use. He emphasised on several prospects for the industry to increase its Water Use Efficiency (WUE) and wastewater reuse. He urged the citizens of the country to be conscious and responsible in their use of water.
In her opening address, Ms Anupama Madhok Sud, Editor & Director, Water Digest spoke about the objective of giving a platform to organisations and individuals to showcase their ingenuity and ambition to alter the water sector for good. These awards are a way of felicitating and encouraging the Water Warriors for their unrelenting efforts, she said.
Dr Benno Boer, Programme Specialist and Chief of Sector for Natural Sciences, UNESCO New Delhi delivered a special message through a video address. He lauded Water Digest for its long-standing partnership with UNESCO and congratulated the winning organisations, NGOs, corporate leaders and water managers who have worked within the community to ensure that the message of efficient and sustainable water use is ingrained in the minds of individuals, institutions, the government and businesses.
There was by a special address by H.E. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to India and Sri Lanka. He stated that India is making rapid progress towards achieving water security. He appreciated the initiatives of the Indian government like Har Ghar Nal Se Jal and the Namami Gange mission while highlighting the progress of the bilateral ties between the two countries.
BK Sister Shivani from the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Movement of India shared her pristine thoughts in the keynote address. She proclaimed that the need of the hour is to connect the power of technology and nature both, and harness their relationship to conserve the priceless resource – water.
Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, spoke about the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to transform Jal Aandolan into a Jan Jan Ka Aandolan. He commended Water Digest for being one of the pioneering contributors to the country’s water revolution. He concluded his special address by reiterating the objective of making India a water-secure nation and thereby, a developed economy, by 2047. He urged everyone present to think and act together in this direction.
The joyful compering by celebrity actress Ms Shruti Seth added flare to the award ceremony.
Each year, since 2006, Water Digest Water Awards is the largest gathering of the Who’s Who of the water sector. It serves as an opportunity to applaud the exceptional environmental initiatives of the Water Warriors. The award ceremony, this year, was organised by Water Digest in partnership with UNESCO and was supported by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and Mission LiFE. The Associate Partners were National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), National Water Mission, WAPCOS Limited, NHPC, NSF, and Vermmillion; and Broadcast Partner was Times Now.
Among the various categories of Water Digest Water Awards 2022-2023, like Best Community Project of The Year, Best Initiative in Urban Water & Sanitation, Best Sustainable Water Management, Best Initiative in the Groundwater Governance and Management, Best Water NGOs, Young Water Professionals, Women Contributor in the Water Sector, Best Initiative in Rain Water Harvesting, Best Research Innovation Award, Digitalisation Project of the Year, and Made in India- Best Water Company Award; the Embassy of Israel was also felicitated for its bilateral initiatives on water between India and Israel.
The eminent jury panel for the awards comprised of 10 expert jury members, bringing in immense sectoral expertise and guiding the awards process – Air Marshal V.K. Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, VrC and Bar, Retired Indian Air Force officer; Ms Neha Midha, National Programme Officer (Natural Sciences), UNESCO, New Delhi; Shri A.B. Pandya, Secretary-General, ICID & Editor-in-Chief, Water Digest; Ms Jyoti Bhasin, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, NSF; Ms Martina Burkard, Head of Programme Support to Ganga Rejuvenation / India EU-Water Partnership, GIZ India; Ms Naman Gupta, State Project Manager, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) India; Shri R.K. Agrawal, Chairman cum Managing Director, WAPCOS Limited; Shri Anshuman, Associate Director, Water Resources, TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute); Shri R.S. Tyagi, Expert Advisor – National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), Ex-Member – Delhi Jal Board (DJB); and Dr Pawan Kumar Labhasetwar, Chief Scientist & Head – Water Technology and Management Division, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
“Water Digest Water Awards has demonstrated what it means to bring the Water Warriors together at one place, from the different corners of the world. The evening was brimming with positive energy, and I would like to thank each guest who added gravitas to the award ceremony with their presence.”
– Ms Anupama Madhok Sud, Editor & Director, Water Digest