BlueHyderabad Run’ on April 11th, to sensitise citizens onharvesting rainwater and restoring urban Water bodies

SAHE & The Rainwater Project host in association with GHMC, HYSEA, CIE – IIIT Hyderabad• Dr Andrew Fleming & others brief media about the run

Hyderabad, March 2021 : Society for Advancement of HumanEndeavour (SAHE), in association with The Rainwater Project, which are working towards Water conservation projects; is hosting the first edition of BlueHyderabad Run, on April 11th, 2021, from Gachibowli Stadium, to raise funds and sensitise the citizens and raise awareness about harvesting rainwater and restoring urban Waterbodies. Dr Andrew Fleming, The British Deputy High Commissioner, British deputy high commission, Hyderabad; Mr Viiveck Varma, Senior Advisor, Telangana State Innovation Cell; Mr Bharani Kumar Aroll, President, HYSEA; Mr Ramesh Loganathan, Professor & Head of Research Outreach, IIIT, Hyderabad; Mrs Kalpana Ramesh, Environmentalist, Designer Founder – The Rainwater Project Lead, Water Initiatives – SAHE, The Rainwater Project and Ms Aneesha Reddy, Head – Strategic Initiatives & Community Outreach, Chirec International School; briefed media about the details of the Run, on the occasionof the World Water Day held on March 22nd, 2021, at a press conference today at The Park. 

The funds raised from the Run will be utilised towards restorationof lake & stepwell projectsbeing underway in the heart of hi-tech city and the most densely populated area ofKondapur–Masjid Banda basin with the support of local communities, governmentagencies, concerned citizens, religious institutions, students, academic institutions, NGOs,Corporate Groups, and others. 

The BlueHyderabad Run, being held on April 11th 2021 from the Gachibowli Stadium, will have both 5 Kms and 10 Kms categories. The civic authorities and conscious citizens are extending their whole hearted support to the Run. Participants interested in the Run and the cause, which is dear to all of us, need to register at www.saheindia.org

Dr Andrew Fleming said, let me throw some light on why we celebrating the World Water day today, 2.2 Bn people in the world continue to struggle to get access to fresh drinking water and an estimated 50% increase in the number of people demanding water by 2040 is forecastedso the pressure is only going to increase, which means the sustainable development goal to provide clean water and sanitation for all in the world by 2030 is increasingly becoming a difficult aspiration to meet. Access to water is important everywhere and its more of a challenge in Indian cities like Hyderabad, which is growing at such a pace, which in fact had a fantastic networof water systems, dating back to Kakatiya Dynasty and sadly we see so many encroachments in this network of water ways. I believe if we dont takecare of our water networks and lakes we are going to suffer. 

Mr Viiveck Varma said, in May 2015 me and Kalpana decided as citizens to focus on water initiatives and that’s how we started the Save10k bores initiative to revive the. Whave since come far doing much more including working on stepwells, lakes and multiple other activities which helps each of us on water. If ever there is a world war 3, it is going to be on water. If we don’t take the right steps today, the day is not far when people get killed because there is no water, naturally dying because of lack of water or because of wars for water. The greatestpanic we have is not having water, if there is no electric power, we canstill survive, but if there is no water for one day we all panic. We should all join in this initiative to increase awareness around water, because this is where the future lies. If we have to leave something for our future generation, it has to be a world where they get access to the same resources that we got. This is just not another run, but it is for a great cause. 

This is just the beginning, the BlueHyderabad Run will be hosted annually to spur a mass movement and sensitise the citizens about water conservation, water harvesting and restoring the water bodies. The run is going to be a sustainable event and use all biodegradable and ecological options for the event. The expected runners are above 1000 for this event, says Mrs Kalpana Ramesh. BlueHyderabad is a social campaign we run on behalf of SAHE, we have started a social enterprise called The Rainwater Projectwith the primary objective of improving ground water levels in the city and across the country. There are lot of water bodies in the city which need lot of help, right now most of these are mosquito breeding grounds spreading diseases, which can be converted into interesting public spaces. In our city lot of sewage is not treated, leading to lot of ground water contamination. This year during COVID we picked six communities around Kudikunta lake, where we are doing restoration work of the lake, with public participation in these colonies we did common area rain water harvesting and there are several success stories of dead borings coming alive and taking care of water needs of the community. We have got rain water harvesting done in schools including Chirec International School; parks, temples, churches and large institutions, corporates, hospitals etc. A large diameter irrigation well was restored in Kondapur, which helped store 1.3 mn litres of rain water, which otherwise would have got wasted on the roads, that improved the ground water levels of about half a square kilometre around the well. Rain water harvesting also reduces the ground water contamination, as it dilutes the contamination. All this helps the city to be water tanker free, reduces urban floods and reduces ground water contamination. Hyderabad is one of the 21 cities announced by NITI Aayog, of being on the verge of running out of water. We have created tanker free societies in the HiTech city, where they have not sourced a tanker for the last six to seven years, we want to encourage more societies to emulate it. We want to take these practices to other parts of the city, we have divided the city into 98 smaller blocks, for people in the community to come forward and work towards water harvesting. We have created 12 Blue Hyderabad groups, which are citizen groups where we guide them, give them a road map and showcase the work we are doing for them to replicate in other blocks.

Mr Ramesh Loganathan said, IIIT is an extremely responsibleinstitution, despite 2500 students and 500 faculty and staff that live on campus it doesnt buy water though tankers for almost 14-15 years. We at IIIT, started social incubators in the campus to see how technology can help society. We as an institute are trying to do a lot for environment in general and specifically for water and try to get a sustainable change.

Restoring Waterbodies, groundwater and staying water positive is an important agenda of the Government of Telangana and earmarking 10% of the local bodies budget as green budget is a part of our commitment. We have undertaken several initiatives to restore water bodies. I am incredibly happy to see a grassroots level social initiative, BLUE HYDERABAD, to draw awareness on harvesting rainwater and restoring urban Waterbodies. A much-needed initiative. If everyone of us does our piece, we can create a fantastic water-safe future for the next generation. Kudos to all the partnering organisations and passionate individuals who are playing a key role in restoring water balance, said Mr Arvind Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary of MA&UD & Director General(NIUM), Telangana, in a message shared  with the organisers.

The BlueHyderabad campaign was launched on the national platform aligning with the National Water Mission – Catch the rain (Where it falls, When it falls) by the Central Jalshakti Ministry. BlueHyderabad envisions to achieve water self-reliance through sustainable water management practices and also achieve collective action in collaboration with all the other blocks.

Th event is supported by the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), CIE – IIIT Hyderabad, United Way and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Run is sponsored by 360Life which is a sustainable reality builder along with Continental Hospitals as Healthcare Partner; Fresh Choice as Refreshment Partner and Sports Arena is event partner.

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