Vedant Goel and Yusuf Soni, popularly known as Water Dada, continue their water conservation campaign started last year, teaching and inspiring children about saving water. They also donate plastic drums in schools where children will empty their water bottles while leaving the school and the water so accumulated can be used in washrooms or gardening. This year, on World Water Day, both Vedant and Goel again visit a number of schools with their water conservation lessons.
World Water Day is observed on 22 March every year. It is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply in their home. In India too, the water availability is rapidly reaching to the point of scarcity, with 10 major states, like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, being drought prone and the whole nation too has not sufficient water resources to meet the demands of the growing population.
The two young men from Maharashtra, Vedant Goel and Yusuf Soni, are deeply concerned about the water scenario in their state and have been organizing water camps at schools across Maharashtra. The idea is to teach students about water conservation and inspire them to take small steps that can help save gallons of water every day. They already have taught thousands of students and parents and teachers are happy about their children's awareness towards water conservation. Parents claim that their children now keep the tap closed while brushing teeth and also prefer to use buckets of water while bathing instead of using a shower.
According to Vedant, the campaign started last year has been highly successful as over 10,000 students and staff members from different schools in Pune have been contributing their leftover water back to their schools for watering plants and cleaning toilets, tasks that were earlier done using fresh water. Many more children are gradually joining the cause. "Last year, we donated plastic tanks for students to dump their leftover water before school, which can be used for gardening or in washrooms. Still, this year, children are religiously following the trend and it somehow helps schools to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at their premises with the water, which otherwise may go waste", states Vedant.
They also had organised a camp last year where more than 1,011 students brushed their teeth together and took in important lessons on cleanliness. Vedant received a Limca Book Record for this feat. Now, the duo is organising water camps at several schools in the city.
This year again, on World Water Day, Vedant and Yusuf are going to visit 5 schools in Pune and gift drums for children to pour left water from their water bottles. They are going to create awareness among 11000-11500 children in a day. Also, in Vidharbha area, few of team members are going to visit schools to create awareness.
The idea is to reach as many children as they can. The campaign aims to educate kids about the importance of water and also make sustainable use of the available resources. The simple idea of collecting leftover water in a drum at the end of the day will not only provide an alternative way for water conservation, but also help kids understand the concept of sustainable development and use of alternatives.
"We are open to merging with other NGOs and like-minded organizations. We want to run such campaigns forever. The water crisis is a long-term problem. If further damage has to be curbed, educating children can really go a long way." Vedant added.
Vedant and Yusuf are visiting these schools every Saturday and teach children the importance of water. While grateful to the administration of those schools that are already supporting their work, they wish more schools can join the mission.