WOW LEADERS SPEAK
Here are excerpts from the WOW Chennai #08 meeting held on 21 April:
‘Do…, Not Because it’s a Twitter thing to do.’
First of all we have to have a passion for social justice. We can't just go into social justice because it's a nice thing to do or it's the Twitter thing to do. We have to have a passion for it and to get that passion I think the best way is to reflect on the problems that we have faced or we have seen from others. Even if somebody has a more privileged upbringing, just by having interactions with people where they show interest and understanding towards others that can force the relationships through which we can at least get the other person to open up about their experiences and from there we can find our passion. Once we find our passion we have to build a community of trust which can be done through either, just letting people you know do their own thing, having some faith in them, and then evaluating the results. Or we can go the other way of breaking down and then rebuilding the trust to make the bonds even stronger. And with that community of trust. Then we can finally decide on a problem to approach. We can talk to the people directly who are affected and then get to know what kind of solutions they want.
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- Kausar De, Student, Institute of Engineering & Management, Kolkata
‘Humble yourself and go into communities.’
I think that there must be a change. The change must take place both with individuals and with the process or the challenge that they are engaged in. There must be change on both sides, that then builds trust. I have had the privilege of travelling across the globe on mission trips and the element in that was the disease from poor quality water that everyone suffered and certainly with that the lack of quality water. I think it's very important to humble ourselves and go into a community. In Global Waterworks, we have a total cross section of people across the globe of all socio-economic levels but, we are all passionate about solving water issues. As we come together with that focus allowing and valuing everyone’s opinion the voice we build adds a great deal of trust across our communication and across our collaborations. Our eye on the prize is for quality water for all, so that 2050 is not what we are forecasting, but 2050 is a time when the future of water is very bright and we've gotten together in a very positive way, gained the trust of each other and solved the problem.
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- Frank Slovenec
‘How can we not do anything?’
I was in Bangalore with my teacher who was a Tibetan Buddhist monk from India. We were in a cab on the way to the airport and all of a sudden there were roadblocks. They were burning tires. There were rioters and looters running the streets. There were fires and thousands of military police just standing on the side and I asked, ‘What was going on here?' and he said, ‘This is a water riot.’ I'm from Chicago. I live near Lake Michigan, which is where the Great Lakes have 26% of the world's freshwater. So I saw this riot as naive and stupid. I said, ‘Why would anybody riot about water? I don't understand.’ I started taking pictures. On the long flight back to Chicago, I kept seeing these images again and again and hearing my teachers voice saying, the poor people are protesting because there is a case in front of the Supreme Court about the Cauvery river and who has rights to the head water which is the good stuff and who gets the drives at the bottom who gets whatever is left. And of course, the wealthy and the powerful get the rights to the head and the poor get what's left at the bottom. And I knew nothing about water. I had no experience. Absolutely nothing. But that has really never stopped me before, so I thought. What can I do?
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- Ann Feldman
WOW MEMBERS SPEAK
Fifty Years of Bangalore’s Denuding of its Green
Government must Walk the Talk
I hope the same rules get followed in government functions too. I see rampant usage of small drinking mineral water bottles in almost all government functions. When the government doesn't walk the talk, citizens won't as well. Even unfortunate, PPE kits [All plastic] are lying in our water bodies!
- Ganesh Shanbhag
Spreading our knowledge across the globe
A Research scholar Dr. Johan Miorner from Eawag Aquatic Research institute, Switzerland, visited our establishment to study about our Rooftop Rainwater harvesting filters and various aspects of Ground water recharging.
- Vijayraj Shishodya
These are extracts of conversations of WOW members in the Core Executive Group. Add your comments, views
A Simple, Affordable Hack by Bengaluru Woman Helps Save Over 18 Lakh Litres of Water
Lalithamba Vishwanathiah, a resident of HSR Layout, Bengaluru has installed over 125 aerators in schools, marriage halls and conference halls to help save more than 18 lakh litres of water.
One of the main sources of water wastage in a country that is as water-stressed as ours are the taps that people use for washing.
Using a conventional tap that is running fully, an average of 20 second-hand washes consumes close to four litres of water. Multiply that by the number of people, and we have a pretty mind-boggling number.
This has been a constant source of concern for Lalithamba. Driven to fund solutions for this, she came up with the idea of using aerators and water restrictors – simple devices that can be simply affixed to a tap, which instantly cuts water usage by three times while retaining the washing efficiency.
How Simple Plumbing Hacks Helped This Bengaluru Family Cut Its Water Bills by More Than Half
Vinodkumar’s biggest achievement has been to set up a system to reuse all the greywater generated in the Saxena residence.
“I have always been aware of the problem of water scarcity,” says Vinodkumar Saxena sitting in the living room of his home in Bengaluru’s Koramangala neighbourhood. An import-export consultant, he was born and grew up in Pune and moved here 25 years ago. His wife Arti has lived here since the ’70s, and together the couple has witnessed the Garden City undergo a drastic change. Keen on living sustainably, Vinodkumar and Arti have turned their home into a green building, one step at a time, over many years.
Even when they built their house in 2006, the duo wanted to make sure that they made their living place as eco-friendly as possible. “We were segregating our waste for years, long before any BBMP rule,” says Arti. For Vinodkumar, the large quantities of water that drained out of homes in the form of greywater was a matter of concern and he decided to build his own version of a greywater recycling unit in his home.
Lost rivers of Bengaluru
‘Objective of map to bring perspective on use and abuse of rivers’
A group of researchers from the city has mapped rivers of Bengaluru which include the Vrishabhavathi, Arkavathi, Dakshina Pinakini, Chinnar, Suvarnamukhi, Cauvery and Netravathi rivers. Not many are aware of these rivers, the experts pointed out, as most of these rivers are polluted, depleted or even converted into drains.
The map has Bengaluru district and its five talks including Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area at the centre. The data points from the map indicate the rivers' origin, length, elevation, ground water status, past and present drinking lifelines of Bengaluru, alongside the downward and upward movement of water and even the hydrology and administrative boundaries.
The experts from Paani Earth, Dr Nidhi Paliwal, Nirmala Gowda and Madhuri Mandava in their study stated the objective of the map was to bring perspective on the use and abuse of rivers. Waste flows in natural river corridors without exception and water in man-made pipelines. Both devoid of life, flow in opposite directions. The situation is especially stark for the rivers passing through the district, the Vrishabhavathi, Arkavathi, Dakshina Pinakini, Chinnar and Suvarnamukhi, as the water bodies are already converted into sewage drains. Cauvery, the current drinking water[source, is not spared either. Heavily polluted and altered, the river is in a dire state.
Alt. Tech Foundation is a not-for-profit, for-industry Foundation for
(i) producing sustainability managers and leaders,
(ii) providing green management skill sets,
(iii) hosting city-wide campaigns for citizen collective action to save water & energy,
(iv) purposing research for city infrastructure.
WOW Action Forum is a globally pioneering effort for bringing collective private action to save very large quantities of water at apartments, at Industry, at tech parks, or hotels and hospitals or malls and other such buildings. The 2021 mission is set to save 1000 Cr lites with community-led action. This alone will bring a saving of 236 Cr in electricity bills for the city, and a reduction in carbon emission of nearly 300,000 tonnes equivalent.