Are your taps and showers going to run dry? Pooja Patel beckons you to read onů
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made Sachin Tendulkar an ambassador for its 'Save Water' campaign. Sachin has also been named as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In a post on Twitter, a popular social networking site, on May 9 Sachin said, "Was getting my kids ready to go to school and I'm very proud to say that they made every effort to use water judiciously." Join Sachin's campaign. Save water!
Water conservation has always been a matter of concern. With insufficient rains last year and constant water cuts in major cities, the worry has only multiplied. Soaring temperatures and restricted water supply have finally got people to understand the importance of conserving water. But individual efforts are not sufficient anymore. What we need is to spread awareness among people, and particularly among children, on ways and means of saving water.
Towards this end, Shital Mehta, an art educator by profession, created an innovative initiative called 'Cube of Concern'. The cube of concern is literally a metal cube with paintings on its surfaces. The paintings used have been created by 45 children aged between 6 and 14 years and showcase various ways in which water can be saved by changing basic daily habits.
These paintings were created by two sets of children from two different clubs that have been initiated by Shital. She adopted a group of children residing in the slums at Simla Nagar, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai and named their club 'Apun ka Club'. The other club is called 'Drawing from Within' and has children from well-to-do families living on Napean Sea Road.
During one of the meets where the two sets of children came together, the slum children enacted a short play through which they showcased the problems they face due to the shortage of water. This got a tremendous response. 12-year-old Alomi says, "I was really moved to know that in slums, one tap of water is shared by 17 families!" The play helped in sensitising children about the seriousness of the issue and educated them on reasons to save water. The paintings that evolved out of these learnings were truly heartfelt. That is one of the reasons why Shital calls the 'Cube of Concern' an "interactive installation."
The cube has been creatively designed - it has paintings stuck on three sides and the top is made of empty bottles. These bottles convey two messages at the same time. Firstly, they serve as an appeal to people to recycle bottles and secondly, they indirectly show us that if we are not careful, there might be no water in the near future.
So let's take an oath to save water by using only a limited amount of water for our daily tasks. It is only if each one of us makes an effort to save water, that we can solve the problem of water scarcity.
With inputs from Akanksha Wadhavkar, Class 9, Shantinagar High School, Mira Road