Hundreds of young water champions gathered on the banks of the River Ganga today to celebrate a World Water Day of pageantry and joy.
The program, held at Parmarth Niketan Rishikesh, in partnership with the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Ganga Action Parivar and Swarovski, gathered young water champions to share their own song, dance, art, theater and spoken word performances. Together, they vowed to spread the word that now is the time for all to join together to save water and keep the environment clean.
According to Niti Ayog, some 60 crore people across India may have no access to drinking water by the year 2030, placing our nation in imminent crisis. Meanwhile, life–giving rivers, such as the Ganga, remain quite polluted, with some three billion litres of sewage and tonnes of trash entering the river every day.
The participants were proud members of the WaterSchool Programme, which, in partnership with GIWA and Swarovski, has been enabling children from across the region to learn inspiring lessons about nature and its role in their lives, including through hands-on classroom experiments, tree plantations, mass clean-ups, special events and more. As a result, children are motivated and mobilized as champions for a clean, green and water-secure future.
Said Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan and Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, “From this Water Day, let us vow to inspire all to save water, save our environment and save our future. You are the future, and the future is now. Never think that you are too young to make a lasting difference. Your voices matter, your choices matter, and we are so proud that you have all become champions for a clean, green and serene planet through the WaterSchool programme. I always say there can be a Plan A and a Plan B, but no Planet B.”
The Water Day event began with an art competition, during which hundreds of children from across the region demonstrated their considerable talents to share their own unique messages about water. Afterwards, a grand stage programme was held, during which children showed their flair in telling the dramatic stories of water, nature and the River Ganga. Young children also shared their own unique viewpoints, inspiring all with thoughts that often surpassed their ages.
Said a class 4 student, aptly named Ganga, “We humans are the creator of problems of water and we humans have to create solutions to it as well.”
Another student, a young boy, added, “We should conserve water, otherwise 100 people will have to share and have to do with only one bottle of water.”
Coming to the stage, one child expounded on the crucial importance of planting trees, saying, “Trees give us oxygen, fruits, food, shade etc. for humans and animals alike. Trees are very important for all of us if we want to keep surviving on the earth.”
The day concluded with a mass rally and the tying of Ganga Rakhis, which the children themselves made and dipped in to the Ganga as part of a mass vow to save nature.