Press releases


Tata Chemicals launches awareness drive on water conservation – Jal Mission

'The next world war will be fought over water'; a few years ago this might have been considered a ridiculous statement. Water was never treated as a commodity and water scarcity was a myth. With drastic climate change, urbanisation, deforestation and global warming, the myth is fast becoming a reality. Water – easily one of the most essential necessities of life – is increasingly becoming a scarce resource and hence requires careful management.

Students exhibiting the importance of water conservation at the Jal Mission felicitation ceremony by Tata Chemicals and SOSVA

In recognition of the need to manage water supplies and preserve this resource for future generations, and in line with the efforts of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust in addressing drinking water and sanitation challenges in rural areas, Tata Chemicals partnered with the Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA) to create a curriculum around the subject of water conservation that was then taught to 600 students across several schools in Mumbai.

The overarching goal of this pilot programme was to instill a sense of civic mindedness in young children and to create change ambassadors who could promote information about the threat of water scarcity. To this end, 70-80 children from each school and a team comprising the principal, head teachers, and SOSVA volunteers were educated on themes related to the water scenario in Mumbai, role of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, ways in which to conserve water, and water footprint of items used in day-to-day activities. The students were also asked to conduct a water audit in their homes and neighborhood to find out the water usage for daily chores by family members and neighbors. Architecture students analysed the pilferage, use and balance of water within the school premises. Based on these critical audits, the team then tried to rectify the problems and figure out solutions that would help reduce water wastage.

From left to right: Anand Nadkarni, B Sudhakar and Dr Vasant Talwalkar at the Jal Mission felicitation ceremony bt Tata Chemicals and SOSVA

B Sudhakar, chief human resources officer, Tata Chemicals, said, "The issue of water sanitation is paramount in today's society, especially in a country like India. A recent research report produced by Tata Chemicals and SOSVA indicates that globally more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and more than five million people, most of them children, die each year from illnesses caused from drinking unsafe water. India is fast turning into a "water stressed" nation and needs to take smart, swift action on water planning and management. We are proud to pioneer initiatives like Jal Mission that help to educate young minds about important civic issues, making them important ambassadors of change, and build a generation that can make a meaningful difference in raising awareness about water sanitation and conservation."

The culmination of this programme was a felicitation ceremony held on January 12, 2012, at OLPS School in Chembur, where students from various schools showcased their experience and learning through exhibitions, presentations, and theme-based dances, dramas and songs. Anant Nadkarni, vice president, group social responsibility, Tata group, was the chief guest for the function. Each school was also given a certificate acknowledging them as an eco-sensitive school. The programme was a huge success and the event served to highlight the efforts of the city's children in disseminating knowledge around water scarcity and the need for conserving resources.