On Earth Day, the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance team organised a beautiful WaterSchool event with GIWA’s WASH on Wheels at Shri Harish Chandra Adarsh Kanya Inter-College. The event was attended by hundreds of students.
At the beginning of the program, GIWA’s Sam Herbert, MSW, discussed why it is necessary to save Mother Earth’s precious natural gifts. GIWA’s Shruti Pant then explained why Earth Day celebrations are need of the hour, and described how Earth Day began. She also discussed crucial issues that are impacting our Earth, such as the lack of sanitation in India and pollution in our drinking water sources, such as the River Ganga.
Next, all took part in a beautiful water blessing ceremony with interfaith prayers that everyone, everywhere may have access to healthy and sustainable water and sanitation.
Afterwards, films were screened discussing the tragedy of the River Ganga, one of the world’s most threatened rivers. In addition, a film featuring the messages of leaders such as HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji about the importance of sanitation for India was screened. In-between the films, GIWA’s educators interacted with the children, enabling them to share their personal feelings about why it’s necessary to protect our natural resources, and work towards achieving a Clean, Healthy and Sanitary India.
At the conclusion of the event, four water filters were donated to the school and teachers. The students and principal were very delighted to have them, as they previously only had unfiltered water to drink, which can lead to stomach ailments and diarrhoea, among the top causes of childhood illnesses and deaths in India.
After taking a Swachhta Kranti (Clean Revolution) pledge that all children would come together to help ensure sanitary practices for their homes, their waterways, and their nation, they were also gleefully surprised with the gifts of Swachhta Kranti caps and wrist bands with messages on the importance of toilets for all.
Afterwards, GIWA’s Ram Chandra Shah roused hearts and minds as all were led in the shouting of slogans for a Swachh Bharat and sustainable world.