22nd March, 2017, USTM, Meghalaya: World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched by United Nations in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day.
University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM) always takes a positive role in all consciousness raising programs related to raging issues, be it social, economy, natural environment or resources. The department of Earth Science had recently conducted an International Earth Science Conference to address the issues related to climate change and other natural disaster to enlighten, encourage and sensitize the challenges of sustainable resource management and find ways to resolve those issues. In an overwhelming gathering at USTM Techno City campus, the Water Pledge was administered by Ms. Roshni Hassan, Mrs. India United Nations 2017 & Mrs India Earth 2016. It goes like this “I take an oath to conserve water/ And to use water wisely. I pledge to consume judiciously/ I’ll treat water as the most precious/treasure that I possess and consume it”…… The inaugural ceremony of the program was opened with welcome address by Dr. R K Sharma, Pro VC, USTM who had reminded the students the importance of saving water in their day to day life for the sake of future generation and minimize water disaster, although it seems insignificant for the time being. Dr. P G Rao, VC, USTM had urged the students not just to gather knowledge about the ways to conserve water but to disseminate the message to the neighbors, community, friends, everyone who ever they come across in their daily life. Mrs. Rasmi Hassan, Chief Guest of the program had enumerated how water affects when we face the crisis and therefore” it is the need of the hour to shake off all inhibitions and come forward for the sake of ensuring a better life to those who do not have the facility to avail clean water”- she added. Ms. Smruti Sweta, Leader of Walk for Water Campaign for Assam and Climate Reality, had displayed a power point presentation on A Boat Without River through which she upheld the dismal picture of people’s denial to accept the importance of conserving water through conscious and judicious use of water, how to mitigate the issues of water scarcity, water hazards or diseases both at the individual and community level through different technologies available. It was followed by observing one minute silence to pay a homage to those died out of use of contaminated water.