For the first workshop of Ecologise Hyderabad, we chose the topic of Rain Water Harvesting because it is of great current interest. We were both overwhelmed and humbled by the huge response we got for the workshop. The workshop was attended by 24 registered participants, 5 members of the Ecologise group and 5 resource persons.
When our first workshop was announced in mid April, we got some 1500 persons as ‘interested’ and some 500 as ‘going’. At first we though it is just a Face book clickerati response. But we took it seriously and since the hall capacity is only 40 we had to make the event ‘invite only’ and asked people to fill a form for registrations. We got some 200 responses for this also! Again we had to select some 50 only and send regret letters to 150. Of course we will not forget them and will devise means to serve all as best as we can.
The response itself proved that it was a good idea and the workshop also justified it. The workshop was attended by 24 registered participants, 5 members of the Ecologise group and 5 resource persons. Three persons came with the resource persons and some 5 persons walked in without prior registrations.
The workshop began with a welcome address by T. Vijayendra in which he introduced himself, the Ecologise Hyderabad group and the workshop agenda. It was followed by a brief talk by Mayank, who is the coordinator of the work shop on the situation of ware in Hyderabad. He emphasized that, “Today Hyderabad receives ALL its water either from the distant rivers, or from deep tube wells or from tankers bringing water from outside Hyderabad. In case of a power and petrol crisis, Hyderabad has NO water. The city therefore, will be dead!”
Deepa Kiran who was supposed to be compeer of the workshop was delayed because there was a water problem at her home, in spite of the fact that the night before we had thunderstorms and rain! She is a also a story teller and she began with a small story about water. Then we had ‘ice break’ session for 5 minutes in which each participant talked to two other participants introducing herself and her interest in the workshop.
Subhash Reddy of SMARAN was the first resource on water harvesting. He has an experience of 15 years of doing RWH in all sorts of situations – individual homes, schools, gated communities and large defense establishment. Both his presentation and interaction with the participants was very good.
After that Mr. P. Rao introduced Jal Santosh system. It is a RWH system mainly about recharging bore wells. It does not require any free land on the premises, has no soak pits and is maintenance free.
After lunch, Mr. M.M. Sharma presented his personal case study of RWH for drinking water. He is a scientist at ICRISAT. His presentation was simple, very convincing and demystified lot of science about purity and potability of water.
Anant Mariganti of Hyderabad Urban Laboratory is a scholar on human geography and knows the city well.made In his presentation he talked about how builder forget the gradient of the land, create water logging and how rain water harvesting measures are a desperate measures in a desperate situation. Almost all the participants and other resource persons got a new perspective on RWH.
In the last presentation of the day Sagar Dhara spoke about how the cities have become unsustainable due to resource depletion, how the cities have to shrink to remain viable.
We have received two requests to conduct similar workshops in other parts of the the city. More request seem to be in the pipe line. Several email have come wanting to be kept in the loop and wanting to attend the next workshops.
A video recording of the workshop has been done. It is being edited by Mohit Garg. It will be available shortly.
I would like to thank La Makaan for hosting the workshop. They not only gave the venue free, their director, Mr. Reddy was present through out the workshop and was available with suggestions and decisions during crucial periods. They also provided lunch for the resource persons and Ecologise Team. Thank you Reddy garu!
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