Water RYLA focuses on conservation in India

  • Work on several health-related club projects in western India gave Rotarian Bal Inamdar a firsthand view of the plight of villages that lack usable water.
  • So, aiming to improve health, hygiene, and cash crops for farmers through cleaner water, Inamdar in August convened the first water-themed Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) workshop.
  • During Water RYLA, held 22-24 August, 160 participants from District 3140 were divided into four groups to develop water-harvesting projects in villages of Kelva Beach, Palghar, India.
  • RYLAs that focus on a theme or world issue such as safe water, poverty, or global climate change, are becoming more popular according to the RI Programs Division.
  • Three weeks before the RYLA workshop, participants were divided into four groups, each named after a river in India–Ravi, Yamuna, Luni, and Alaknanda (R.Y.L.A.). Each group researched and conducted a water project that had to be completed in a single day.
  • Two groups, Ravi and Luni, created reservoir dams along rivulets.
  • The Yamuna team constructed a contoured embankment to catch rainwater running from the mountains and hills.
  • And the Alaknanda group, made up of 28 hearing-impaired students, built a rooftop water-harvesting system for a local school.
  • On the last day, the projects were judged by two water scientists from Eureka Forbes, a water purification company based in Mumbai, that also gave the teams free technical support.
  • Inamdar, a member of the Rotary Club of Mumbai West Coast, Maharashtra, says the training will enable participants to help Rotary clubs in their own communities launch water projects.
  • He estimates that 15 to 20 projects will be developed this year by District 3140 clubs because of Water RYLA.
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