Kunti Gupta from S M Sehgal Foundation has been recognized by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a Women Water Champion for her work on water conservation, water management, water quality improvement and wastewater management in rural communities in India. The virtual felicitation event was organized by UNDP on June 2, 2021, in partnership with National Water Mission (NWM), Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), which recognized 41 Women Water Champions for their remarkable contribution to the water sector. The event also marked the release the Compendium having inspiring accounts of their work in the field.
Ms. Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme gave the opening remarks. Special remarks were given by Ms. Birgitta Liss Lymer, Programme Director, SIWI, and Mr G Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, NWM, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
Empowering rural women is critical to the mission of S M Sehgal Foundation, a well-recognized NGO in the field of rural development, where a multifaceted approach is used to strengthen community-led development to achieve positive social, economic, and environmental change.
Kunti has worked in district Nuh, Haryana, for ten years and her role as a community mobilizer for water management she sensitizes villagers on water saving practices. While Nuh was a water scarce region and water salinity was an issue, in the state of Bihar, where she is working for the past four years now, she took on a new water challenge. In Bihar, fluoride content in water is an issue and people faced many health problems due to this. Their unawareness about water borne diseases was a major challenge that Kunti had to handle.
Experience of different geographies helped Kunti to evolve in her role as a field coordinator to a project coordinator with a wide experience in working with communities across Haryana and Bihar. Continuous community capacity building, group sessions, and community sensitization. Water-aware communities pave a bright future for themselves, says Kunti.
Sehgal Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, Anjali Makhija, also spoke as part of the panel ‘Reflections from Partners’ that was moderated by Dr Swayamprabha Das, UNDP. Anjali congratulated the women water champions for their inspiring work across 14 states of India. She shared that such recognitions go a long way in helping women take leadership roles in better managing water resources and solving water issues in their communities.
The Sehgal Foundation has been working for sustainable rural development for over two decades and our efforts have reached over 1000 villages across 34 districts in ten states impacting 2.5 million people. Visit www.smsfoundation.org
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