GUWAHATI, March 22 - The Department of Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences (EBWS), Cotton University and Safe Water Centre for Healthy Assam (SWaCHA) organised a programme to mark World Water Day. This year the theme of the event was �Nature for Water�.
The programme started with a welcome speech by Dr Narayan Sharma, HoD, EBWS, Cotton University. He spoke about the importance of water and the presence of contaminants such as heavy metals, arsenic, etc., in water.
The event was introduced by Dr Mayuri Chabukdhara, Assistant Professor, Department of EBWS. Churamoni Saikia, programme manager, SWaCHA, emphasised the importance of highlighting the water quality issues of Assam.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mamata Goswami, retired HoD, Zoology, Cotton University, gave an overview of arsenic, its contamination of groundwater and prevalence of arsenicosis in different districts of Assam. Dr Bhupendra Barman, Assistant Executive Engineer, PHED spoke on the water contaminants in Assam with reference to fluoride and fluorosis.
A group discussion was held on �Exploring nature-based solution to address water quality issues�, where the participant-students and faculties took part and suggested several innovative methods to address water quality issues.
Two documentaries were screened to raise awareness among the audience, which focused on the issues of arsenic and fluoride contamination and the mitigation measures.
At Sankardev Vidya Niketan: The Institution of Public Health Engineers (India), Guwahati (Assam State) Regional Centre (GRC) observed World Water Day today with a daylong programme in association with the Indian Water Works Association (IWWA), Guwahati RC, Rotary Club of Guwahati, PHE Retired Engineers Forum (PREF) and Senior Engineers Forum of Greater Guwahati today at the Bonda-based Sankardev Vidya Niketan, said a press release.
Explaining the objective of the daylong celebration, Milanjit Bhattacharyya, secretary, IPHE, GRC, elaborated on the significance of the day in the present context of qualitative degradation and quantitative scarcity of the precious water resources and to find a solution from Mother Nature itself.
As the groundwater of the Sankardev Vidya Niketan area is fluoride-contaminated, Bhattacharyya recalled his association with a UNICEF-supported fluoride elimination filter development work under noted public health engineer AB Paul in the area in 2005-06.
Banamali Bhattacharyya, Pradhan Acharyya of the Vidya Niketan appealed to the students to conserve water by adopting judicious practices. Satyabrata Sarma, secretary, PREF, dwelt at length on water conservation. Jagat Ram Borthakur, secretary, IWWA, GRC spoke on the need to inculcate austere measures on water use.
Bibhuti Dutta, president of Rotary Club of Guwahati elaborated on voluntary services of his organisation in this field.
An essay competition on this year�s theme, �Nature for Water� was conducted amongst the students, where, Bhargav Ranjan Baglari, Class IX, Riya Roy of Class IX and Ankita Kalita of Class IX were adjudged the first, second and third best contestants respectively and were awarded in cash.
A quiz competition on water issues was conducted by SK Agarwal, vice-chairman, IPHE, GRC and M Bhattacharyya, secretary, IPHE GRC among the students and the winners were rewarded.
At Guru Nanak School: World Water Day was also observed by Sri Guru Nanak National High School. The students took part in the programme, conveying the message of saving and conserving water for sustenance of life on earth. They participated in speech, poster-making, slogan-writing and dance competitions depicting the importance of saving water. They took an oath not to waste water and to use it judiciously.