National water policy A futile exercise


Water riots breakout in Gujarat
Bustards under threat
Disappearing lakes and ponds


Delhi prepares to catch rain
Watering schools
Ready to take action
Gokak goes green
Journalist's meet


Easy steps to catch rain


Sankat Mochan Mandir
A role model in the making


Water suficient
Municipal water bonds
Active campaigner


Water crusader


Kata system


A water conscious city
Ghana's privatisation woes


Vilasrao Salunke


Glimpses of book


Conference call






Vol. 4   

No. 2

April  2002


Watering schools

Where does water come from?
From our taps, of course!

This is how most of the water workshops organised by the Environment Education Unit of CSE with students begin. The participants are introduced to the various aspects of water supply. First, they are introduced to the traditional rural water harvesting systems prevailing in our country. It is a long journey from there to the johads (earthen check dams) of Alwar, Rajasthan and to the pynes (channels constructed to utilise the water flowing through the numerous hilly rivers) of Bihar.

Boondh boondh bachao, Paani ko forever banao!

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"When I got the information about this workshop, I thought that this may be, as usual – an ordinary gathering of people, where the officials may come and say something and go back. But I was wrong. I, for the first time realised the importance of water. What is water? Water is life."

Pragya Tiwari, Class – VIII E
Sunbeam School, Varanasi

"We don’t really think about its (water) misuse when we use it. Everyday we use it in our lives. If we don’t conserve water today, our future would be something like this…."

"Don’t let this happen!"

Himanshu, Class VIII A,
Rajghat Besant School, Varanasi

p4-1.jpg "By attending this workshop, I have learnt the importance of water. We should always try to save it ourselves, while also encouraging others to do the same. It has been found that Indians were the world’s greatest water harvesters. In different places, people save water in different ways like in Rajasthan people make cup and saucer kind of structures (like, kundis). Water is a collective decision locally made. Flame of life burns with water just as flame of school burns with teachers."

Harshita Agarwal, Class – VIII B
Sunbeam School, Varanasi

"When drops combine, ocean is formed. When each one saves water, a developed India is formed."

Shubhra Chaturvedi, Class – IX B
Sunbeam School, Varanasi

"If we look upon the amount of water, we have a good history. But, if we waste it, in future it will just be misery."

Anand Kirti, Class VIII
Sunbeam School, Varanasi

"Care for water, as you care for your child. Give your future, a glass full of pure nectar of life."

Samriah Maurya, VIII B
Sunbeam school, Varanasi

"Believing in god means observing nature with a concern. Writing about this alone will not make a change.

Change is the effect of action. If you want to change, just change your habits, Rest will itself change. Change your water consumption.You will make a change in today’s problem of water."

Preeti, Class IX A
Rajghat Besant School, Varanasi

The students are then introduced to the water situation prevailing in urban India. The reasons for the rapidly depleting groundwater tables and water pollution are explained. Problems arising out of sharing water unequally and water pricing are discussed. The ‘polluter pays’ concept is explained. At the end of this colourful yet informative journey, students begin to realise that there is enough water, it just needs to be managed well.

Experiences from the schools of Delhi is overwhelming. Workshop organised with Akshay Pratisthan, a rehabilitation and education centre for disabled persons drew a terrific response.

In January, the Banyan Tree, a Varanasi-based NGO brought 500 students from schools across Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh together for a water workshop. In this they were helped by CSE. During this workshop, students expressed their understanding on water through pen and colourful paints. (see box: Boondh boondh bachao, Paani ko forever banao!) In April, forty schools from all over Varanasi participated in the workshop organised by CSE. A water harvesting exercise was taken up by the students. They calculated the water harvesting potential of Rajghat Besant School and actively drew up the plan of action.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan students from five schools got together to grill the chief minister and the mayor on the present water situation. Click, snap, write and voila, these kids had a special edition on Jaipur environment with them.

The list is endless of students joining in, to take this campaign forward. What needs to be done now is to harness this energy and to translate it into actors.

For further information:
EE Unit, CSE,
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi 110 062
Tel: 6081124, 1125 Ext. 227

Copyright CSE  Centre for Science and Environment