It all began in mid 2019, post the India General Assembly (Lok Sabha) election results.
The Modi govt 2.0 announced the formation of a new ministry – Jal Shakti – with a singular objective of driving efforts towards water conservation. Needless to say, it motivated a lot of us – citizens, who have been talking about sustainability, maybe doing a few things here and there, but still feeling the urge to contribute in a more meaningful way.
Over the next few weeks and months, we observed formation of multiple WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages, passageway conversations – all focusing on Water Conservation.
And what an experience it was !
There was just an amazing amount of positive energy and pure intent. Intent to give back, intent to leave a better planet for our grandchildren. We witnessed busy corporate leaders willing to put in dedicated hours over the weekends. School and college children volunteering in plantation drives.
But we also observed that many of these citizen groups were starting from scratch. There was very little collaboration across these multiple groups (and we had access to just a handful, imagine the efforts being put in by all such groups!). For example:
- They were researching how to do water harvesting (in homes, in condos).
- What faucet design can help save water?
- What policy interventions (e.g. discourage high water consuming crops like sugarcane) may be needed?
- Who can I approach to volunteer? What is the support needed and by who?
- Which local department(s) work directly with Jal Shakti?
- And it goes on…….
We felt that in this digitally connected world, there should be more efficiency. A lot of these questions have been well researched. A lot of “experiments” are already underway – how can others learn early from those results? How do we track the true collective impact of these seemingly disparate initiatives? Can a digital platform bring it all together? And if it does, will we see a significant multiplier effect?
- How can be build a common-repository of all research on water conservation
- Build a platform that tracks all the good work being done and motivates others to join in
- A community that takes up campaigns and magnifies its impact by tech-powered-collaboration
And so it was – Project Blue Planet was born !