New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): UNESCO New Delhi, along with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and other partners, organised a hybrid event on Monday with school children and teachers to celebrate 'World Water Day 2021'. The event included felicitating the winners of a water conservation awareness programme, and screening of their winning animation short films, according to an official release. UNESCO launched this programme nation-wide last September for school children in India, in partnership with the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the United Schools Organization (USO), Water Digest and India based global animation major Toonz Media Group. Entitled "H2Ooooh! - Waterwise program for children of India", this innovative initiative encouraged school students between the age of 6-14 years to submit story ideas for animated short films to raise awareness on water conservation and its sustainable use. As many as 93 shortlisted students, including eight children with disabilities, underwent a training in basics of 2D animation including script writing, character sketching and storyboarding by Toonz Animation mentors as part of the programme. The students had been shortlisted after multiple screenings from over 17,000 participants from 43 schools across the country.
"We thank all our partners for this unique initiative, through which we hope children learned about the importance of water, which has enormous value for households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment", said Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director. "Creativity of children and youth is boundless. I compliment UNESCO in coming up with this innovative idea to make them #WaterWise through animation films and learn while doing. I wish all our young friends the very best and may their wisdom help us in managing water better," said Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Government of India. "It was indeed a great way to celebrate World Water Day and to be with the children and the teachers who had an interesting journey for becoming 'water wise' through the medium of cartoons and animations. UNESCO and all other partner institutions have done great work in this regard," Mishra told ANI. P Jayakumar, CEO, Toonz Media Group hoped that this initiative will create excitement among children for water conservation. Ganga Quest 2021, an online competitive quiz organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and TREE Craze Foundation, was also launched at the event. The online competition conceptualised in 2019, has garnered a stupendous response from students of all ages. As many as 11.5 lakh had participated in the 2020 NamamiGangeGanga Quest. "Public participation is one of the prime focus areas of the theNamamiGange Mission. This quiz will encourage everyone to learn more about our rivers and to respect them," said Mishra. (ANI)