No Water, no life. No blue, no green” – Sylvia Earle
Water is rightly called the elixir of life; you can live without many things but not without water! Water is also a basic human right, and it is the responsibility of every country’s governing power to ensure that all its citizens have access to clean and safe water.
The right to water states that everyone should have access to safe, accessible and affordable water for use at home and personal purposes. The right to sanitation requires that everyone have physical and affordable access to sanitation for all purposes in a safe, hygienic and secure way.
Hydration is an important part of overall health, and it is recommended to have at least 8 glasses of water a day, more in tropical, humid places or in hot weather. Hydration is especially important in babies, young children and pregnant women. Water sanitation is not just about clean drinking water; it is also about helping people everywhere get access to water for all hygiene purposes, especially for hand washing which has been proven to reduce the incidence of diseases like pneumonia, cholera, scabies, skin and eye illnesses.
In India, water hygiene and sanitation are serious problems as nearly 1,400 children die every day due to lack of access to clean water.
To this end, the TERI University and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a never-before-done one of a kind campaign – the “Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings” initiative in Kolkata in association with Coca-Cola and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). This WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) campaign is in line with the Government of India’s sanitation program and plans to conduct risk analysis in low income settlements like the slums of Chennai and Kolkata.
The WASH program aims to reach 50,000 people in low income areas and 300 professionals along with 2,500 students across 20 municipal schools. Their objectives are:
- Conduct comprehensive WASH-related risk analysis of health impacts in Kolkata and Chennai
- Develop and implement strategies to encourage the adoption of ways to reduce WASH-related diseases and ensure long term implementation
- Catalyze faculty, students and the authorities to address challenges related to health and sanitation
USAID is an independent government agency that helps to tackle development challenges in countries like India. Several programs like the WASH program is a part of the U.S. Govt.’s Feed the Future, Global Health, and Global Climate Change initiatives.
The Coca-Cola Company in India extends its support to community programs in the country and tries to fulfill its mission statement – “The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone that it touches.”
TERI is an independent non-profit research institution focusing on sustainable development and conducts research on several topics regarding sustainable use of natural resources.