November 23rd, 2016
“I went to the Global Citizen Festival yesterday, we got silver zone passes and everything, but I failed to see many people, who deserved to be there! Throughout the day, various celebs spoke about three main aspects of our society viz. Gender Equality, Education, Sanitization & Hygiene. One key aspect of sanitization is clean water, which is not really available to some people living in Mumbai and most people in India. Free water was distributed throughout the day at the Festival and after a while when they ran out of the water, people in the lines were pissed and they were about to break the counters.
Well, they eventually replenished the water supply. And the event was amazing, but what saddened me the most was that when it ended, the entire ground was filled with bottles (majorly because there was no real provision of recycling bins). One would assume that there would be only empty plastic bottles but to my surprise, quite a lot of bottles on the floor were half filled with water and some with the seal still intact. Although the event was a great platform to talk about certain aspects that affect us (maybe, not directly), it was horrible that most of the attendees didn’t really take anything back. I couldn’t stand to see the amount of water that would go to waste while many families in Bandra, and around Mumbai, would wake up to having difficulty in procuring potable water. So my friends Dylan, Zandra, Blythe, Duval and I picked up all the bottles and accumulated all the water we could. We collected around 205 bottles of 1 litre each, yes 205 litres of water. I am grateful to the few who saw and helped us out. We were tired and almost dead after picking all these bottles, but what kept us going was the fact that this water could be of help to someone, and it was. The deep sense of gratitude I felt from the people sleeping on the streets of Bandra station on receiving the bottles, made it all worth the effort.
The water we collected was only a part of the Silver Zone. Imagine the amount of water we could have saved if we could collect bottles from the entire ground (or if people just learned to become more responsible).
The intent of this post is not to brag about what we did last night, but to make people understand the value of something as precious as water which is so easily available to us, the privileged ones. I urge you to share this post, not because I want it to go viral but because I want people who threw their bottles down to realise that they could have put the water to better use.”
Submitted By – Ornellius Saldanha
After the event, Global Citizen with volunteers from different groups collected all the garbage and segregated all the waste. This post is not to blame anyone but to understand the responsibilities we have as citizens. In our school life, we have been taught to put the waste in a garbage bin and if we don’t get a garbage bin, keep the waste with us till the time we find one. It is ironic that plastic bottles were given in such a huge amount at an event aimed to create awareness about safe water, hygiene, and the environment.
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