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Recognizing Water Stewards: Odisha Water Honours Open for Nominations

Bhubaneswar: Water Initiatives, Odisha (WIO), a prominent advocate for water and climate initiatives in the state, has announced the call for nominations for the 4th batch of Odisha Water Honours. These honours, unique to the state, aim to acknowledge individuals and communities for their outstanding contributions to water, river, and ecology conservation and restoration.

The Odisha Jala Joddha Samman is dedicated to recognizing individual efforts, while the Ajira Bhagiratha Samman appreciates commendable contributions by communities or organizations in the field of water conservation and management. Ranjan Panda, Convenor of Water Initiatives and widely known as the Water Man of Odisha, highlighted the importance of these honours in recognizing and encouraging initiatives that positively impact the environment.

For the Odisha Jala Joddha Samman, nominations are invited from individuals who have made significant contributions to building awareness on water-related issues or have initiated actions that influenced policy decisions and community mobilization. The Ajira Bhagiratha Samman seeks nominations from communities, groups, or organizations involved in exemplary work in water resource conservation, protection of natural forests, or any efforts empowering communities to assert their rights over water resources.

Additionally, the Youth4Water campaign, launched during the 3rd Odisha River Conference, has introduced the First Youth4Water Water & Climate Impact Awards. These awards aim to recognize youths or youth groups making impactful contributions to water conservation and climate resilience. Anurag Gupta, State Head of Water Aid India and a co-founder of the Youth4Water campaign, emphasized the positive impacts the campaign has made and the award’s role in supporting impactful youth initiatives.

Furthermore, the Green Picnic Awards will be presented to youth groups participating in the Plastic-Free Picnic Challenge Season 2 organized by Youth4Water from November 2023 to February 2024. Sponsored by DALMA chain of restaurants, these awards recognize commendable contributions to the pan-India initiative.

The honours and awards will be conferred during the 4th Odisha River Conference in Angul on March 21, organized by WIO and FES in collaboration with about 40 partner organizations.

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