World Toilet Day Celebration

These women have worked tirelessly to make their respective communities Open Defecation (OD) Free. They have understood the much touted saying that Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

As part of their felicitation by FORCE under the “Swatch Delhi, Swasth Delhi” (Clean Delhi, Healthy Delhi) project funded by WaterAid, the women sang bhajans in the house of God and gave a new meaning to cleanliness and Godliness.

Jyoti Sharma, President FORCE congratulated the women on their achievement and said, “God lives where cleanliness exists. We women must take this message all over the world.”

This is the last song sung by the women during the program. The song has been written and composed by the women themselves.

The song congratulates ( offers “badhai”) to the women who have worked to make their respective communities OD free. And through the song, women are also making a promise that they will construct toilets in their homes and encourage all to do the same.

The Sanitation and Water Challenge in Delhi

Sanitation & water challengeFORCE* is organizing an ‘Expert Dialogue’ titled ‘The Sanitation and Water Challenge in Delhi – With Special reference to Regularization and Resettlement of the Poor’. The Expert Speakers will share their views on the current and expected challenges in providing adequate, sustainable sanitation and Water services to the lesser privileged in Delhi.

FORCE will also share the findings of a recent sample study that was done on Community Toilet complex usage, management, infrastructure and maintenance. The study also analyses the impact of   a ‘Community Toilet Complex Monitoring model’ wherein community members monitor and report on the services provided by the CTC they use.

The objective is to identify challenges in Water and Sanitation and discuss the options for overcoming them. Also the role that each stakeholder needs to play for sustainability

We would like to invite you for this Expert Dialogue. It will be held on July 31, 2013 from 2.30pm to 5.30 pm. at India International Centre (Multipurpose Hall ), Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Your contribution will be valuable for us all.

We look forward to having you join us for the Expert Dialogue. For more information on the program, please feel free to write to me at jyoti@force.org.in or call me at 9899812888.

In collaboration with Times of India and with the support of WaterAid India and CASP-Plan

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Date: July 31, 2013         Venue: India International Centre, Multipurpose Hall, Lodhi Estate

PROGRAM SCHEDULE

THE SANITATION AND WATER CHALLENGE IN DELHI

(With special reference to regularization and resettlement of settlements for the poor)

2.30pm – 3pm          – Registration

3.00pm – 3.30 pm    – Welcome Address and Presentation of CTC Usage survey –   FORCE

3.30 pm – 4.45pm     – Expert views

–  Sh Bal Mukund, Editor, Navbharat Times (will also conduct the dialogue)

– Key Civil Society Concerns in Water and Sanitation planning –  WaterAid India,  GIZ and CASP-Plan

– Sh PK Tripathi – Former Chief Secretary and current Chairman of Public Grievances Committee

Sh S Khan – Chairman, Minorities Commission

Sh Amar Nath – CEO, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board

Smt Debashree Mukherjee – CEO, Delhi Jal Board

4.45 pm – 5.15 pm   – Interactive session with audience

5.15 pm – 5.30pm    – Vote of thanks and Mementos to Honble Guests

5.30pm onwards  High tea

Jal Yachana – All Religion Prayer Meeting

Water PrayerIn a unique ceremony, FORCE, has called for citizens, political leaders, religious institutions to cut across all divides and jointly pray to God for alleviating the distress of those suffering because of drought or flood. On 7th of August between 9.30 to 10.30 am, ‘Jal Yachana – Sarva Dharma Prarthana Sabha’ has been organized. An All – Religion Prayer Session where leaders, citizens and children from all over Delhi will gather together to pray to the Almighty to bless the parched Earth with his blessing of Rain.

All are invited to attend the session and work towards water conservation.

Water is not a commodity that we can abuse. It is a life giving blessing that we must re-learn to respect. It knows no colour, caste or religion. Through the JAL YACHANA, not only are we all jointly asking God for his blessing of Water but also we are reminding ourselves to forget all differences and join hands to overcome this crisis.

Water Prayer

 Water Prayer

The Winds of Change in the Ministry of Water Resources!

 

The Winds of Change are whistling through the corridors of the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR) – happily threatening to turn this staid, typical ministry into a vortex of new ideas, unconventional solutions and win-win partnerships.

All it took was a mild mannered, smiley-faced man who sometimes sounds more like a satsang guru (sermon priest) than a bureaucrat. The Jt. Secretary of the MOWR – Shri. RM Mishra – has been slowly but steadily opening up the doors of the ministry to positive minded community groups working on water issues.  For the past two years, I have seen the ‘public’ being invited for seminars, workshops, intensive meetings – not just to sit and clap but also to share their ideas and action agendas. Of course, I’m sure, the other senior bureaucrats in the ministry and also the past and present Minister of WR are equally to be thanked for this change – I just hope they keep up this drive.

The 16th of July ’09, I think, was a watershed in this journey. A Meeting without a name, without a pre-defined agenda, was held in the ministry.

  • The invitees – roughly 30 practitioners of water conserving community movements from different parts of the country
  • The broad objective – to create a forum for free interchange of ideas, email-ids, phone numbers and support groups.

The invitees included:

  • Religious groups that used religion to create mass movements to protect rivers and make water bodies
  • Poets and intellectuals
  • Youth groups
  • Media and web professionals
  • Unconventional water cleansing technology providers
  • Activists, and of course
  • FORCE!

What makes this a historic meeting is the fact that a government ministry created this forum for

  • Completely unrestrained expression,
  • Auto-evolving agenda, and
  • With an objective of creating an ever expanding river of water conservationists working in harmony with each other in their own unique ways.

The spread & power of the government coupled with the passion of the crusader – can change be far behind??

Some credit for these winds of change must go to FORCE as well. Not only hasFORCE been a partner of the ministry in helping create the public interface, but we also pioneered the JAL RAKSHAK movement (a forum of community leaders working for the cause of water conservation).

Incidentally, the Jt. Secy. Mr RM Mishra – is a Special JAL RAKSHAK too!

May the tribe of JAL RAKSHAKs increase! Here’s your chance to jump on to this juggernaut – register yourself as a JAL RAKSHAK and be a part of the Great Indian Water Turn-Around!

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