New Delhi: As India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day, News18 and Harpic Mission Paani hosted their first Waterthon celebrating the country’s water heroes. The 8-Hour long Waterthon, broadcasted live on Network18’s TV news channels and digital platforms brought together global policymakers, celebrities from all walks of life, the Armed Forces, and corporates to address the criticality of water for hygiene and conservation. India’s largest Waterthon witnessed a series of thought-provoking sessions deliberating on efficient solutions and the need to prioritize efforts towards water conservation. Amidst much fanfare, Harpic Mission Paani launched a special ‘water’ curriculum for school children.
Actor and Mission Paani Ambassador, Akshay Kumar said, “Water is a wealth we have to conserve. The demand for water will rise by 40 percent in the next 9 years, which is something we will not be able to fulfill. Add to that, there are chances of a water crisis taking place in 28% of the country for which we all will be responsible. At the rate that humanity is going, in the next 100 years, we will finish all the water available. Water can be sold at the rate of gold, it can even be costlier. We might even see a war on it. There might come a time where there won’t be rivers, lakes. We will struggle to even find a drop. It is the need of the hour for us to take a pledge to save water so that we can live a life of a better tomorrow.”
A host of notable personalities such as Gajendra Singh Shekhawat — Minister of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Dr. Harsh Vardhan — Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Tech, Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ — Minister, Human Resource Development, Government of India, Smriti Irani — Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, Nitin Gadkari — Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Govt. of India along with celebrities like AR Rahman, Mallika Sarabhai, Prasoon Joshi, HH Chidanand Swami, Rajkumar Rao, Mandira Bedi, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Gul Panag, Bhumi Pednekar, Vishwanathan Anand amongst others celebrated the journey and impact of the News18 and Harpic Mission Paani campaign. The live event featured song and dance performances by Esha Deol in the opening dance act followed by Malini Awasthi, Shaan, and the evergreen Indian Ocean.
Laxman Narasimhan, Global CEO, Reckitt Benckiser Group commented, “Hosting India’s largest Waterthon on Republic Day is highly symbolic and a matter of pride for us at RB. People from all walks of life have come together today on the Harpic Mission Paani platform united towards a common goal of saving water. This day has celebrated India’s water heroes who have selflessly led and addressed the criticality of water for hygiene. We are hopeful that Harpic with its key initiatives will successfully drive behavior change towards water conservation and hygiene with Mission Paani.”
Speaking on building purpose-led brands, Harold Van Den Broek, President, RB Hygiene said “At RB, we are pioneers of Health, Hygiene, and Nutrition and we deliver our purpose- to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner and healthier world. Our brands like Harpic, Finish and Lysol have been at the forefront of driving behavior change. We are committed to building brands with purpose with a clearly defined fight that is linked to key societal issues in line with UN’s defined Sustainability Development Goals.”
At the event, Narasimhan Eswar, Senior Vice President, South Asia, RB Hygiene, said, “Saving water is now more important than ever before. The pandemic has taught us that high levels of sanitation and hygiene are essential for all sections of society. Harpic Mission Paani is a defining people’s movement aimed at creating a more direct impact on water shortage and hygiene and sanitation. Our aim with Harpic Mission Paani’s ‘Swachhta aur Paani’ campaign is to increase awareness and encourage citizens on the urgency for efficient usage and conservation of water as well as hygienic sanitation.”
On the launch of the school curriculum, Sukhleen Aneja, CMO & Marketing Director, RB Hygiene, South Asia said, “Children hold the key not just to our future but also the future of our world. Children today have a voice that cannot just simply be ignored and even in the Paani anthem, they were key to driving the message and drawing people’s attention. We believe that the education of our children needs to be in sync with the changing times. Therefore, Harpic Mission Paani has partnered with Swarovski Water School to introduce a dedicated curriculum highlighting the importance of water and hygiene for school children.”
Smriti Mehra, CEO – Business News, Network18 said, “As a media platform, the onus lies on us to curate programming that provides actionable information and raises awareness about issues that matter to people. Water conservation is one of the most critical issues that our network has adopted to influence positive change. Through a purpose-driven campaign like Mission Paani, we brought together like-minded individuals who can amplify the core message of water conservation so that people can be the change that they want to see. From artists to ministers to youth influencers, sports personalities, and activists, Mission Paani reached out to different stakeholders and brought them together to raise a common voice. Having such influential people as one unifying voice that gives out a message of hope is what made Mission Paani such a successful campaign.”
Water is precious. Every drop counts. Every effort matters. Let’s all pledge together for a more equitable, more sustainable tomorrow, by focusing on water as well as hygiene.