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Saturday, April 6, 2013

20th WASH Forum; Youth talking about Water

March 22, a day celebrated as Water day all over the world this time was marked in Nepal with a tagline “Water water everywhere but only if we share”. And Paschim paaila, an informal youth network also thought of sharing the information regarding water in the same theme via WASH forum which is a common platform for Knowledge sharing and advocacy regarding water, sanitation and hygiene and disasters/epidemics. In this forum, basically current issues, concerns and initiatives of WASH are focused along with cross-cutting issues and it even tries to address the voices of diversified youth, communities and others.

WASH forum is conducted every last Friday of English month and this time it was conducted on 29th March 2013 at ENPHO hall, Thapagaun with the mutual effort of Paschim Paaila and Environment and Public health Organization (ENPHO).

 Mr. Ajay Dixit, Water engineer and an executive director of Institute of social & Environment transition was the key person of the forum, which was facilitated by Roshan Chaulagain. It had total of 25 participants. 

On Acting upon the theme, Mr. Dixit started his session with a question Why shall we share the water? Many participants answered that it is a basic right, and it is a natural resources. And that is why we should share water. Mr. Dixit acted like a selfish person who is not willing to share any of his property. Later on in the seminar he highlighted that people with such kind of attitude are still there in our society that is why sharing of water is being almost impossible. 

He described with control over water resources means control over power and power definitely means more & more money.

We can consider an example of a stone spout, every individual used to gather around it share water and even their thoughts. The whole notion of ancient system was to share, but now, the idea of sharing is so complicated. Now Sharing is also linked with politics, and power. The terms like social status, poverty and gender, are also imbedded in it. Sharing in not only between individual to individual but in between rich and poor, men & women, and even country to country.

He talked about history, about ancient Nepal to describe where we went wrong which is why sharing has been so complicated. We have to ensure water for everyone even for the plants, animal and all those aquatic animals as well.

On a question raised How do we share scarcity of water then Mr. Dixit also known as Paani Pandit answered first of all we need to find out is the scarcity really because there is lack of water or is it due to uneven distribution pattern. You know, sometimes artificial scarcity s also created. It all depends upon the ethos and values that guides a person that also matters the most.
He motivated youths to recognize the need of sharing and see it from different perspectives. Think innovative and get going in the direction. Lastly he suggested all the youths, “In order to empower yourself go beyond google and share what you know.”

Ms. Merina Shakya, network coordinator of Paschim Paaila thanked Mr. Dixit for his innovative sharing and for introducing all the participants with the various dimension of the term Sharing. At the end of the session she handed over the token of love. And it was ended with group photo.