Young Water Leader’s Experience – Kunal Shah

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The YWLS has been a wonderful experience, power-packed with networking among fellow friends from across the globe, exposure to various water-related problems, and how we as individual can be a catalyst for change.

Personally, I have been associated with the private sector in the water space for the past 5 years; providing treatment facilities to people in many nations but after this Summit I understand more deeply that besides a business angle, the water sector has a very large human angle wherein each one of us can contribute in many ways to help make this Earth a beautiful place to live in – in terms of water and sanitation.

Travelling cross in China – visiting the many treatment plants built on the rivers caught my attention. Many of these plants are old and are facing water quality issues. Then I realized that with some upgradation works these plants could actually work better; serving good quality water to the people around and there are many such cases which can bring smiles to millions of people. Then, I have personally seen the situation of water in the Maldives, India and Cambodia – All taught me one message: That this sector needs more than just business thinking – a stewardship which each individual of us can practice.

I enjoyed the opening game session which created an immediate bonding amongst team members from different cultures and backgrounds.

It was great to learn that access to safe and clean drinking water still remains a major problem in many parts of the world and that there could be ways as young people we could help support solve one of these problems. The session of water and sanitation has inspired me the most by exposing various real cases and plight of people who face water/sanitation related problems. I have personally grown up in a town in India where we received water for 4 hours a day and now understand that by actually providing 24*7 clean drinking water can make lives so happy. I never imagined the amount of people still doing open Defecation due to lack of facilities and the water borne diseases wherein every year thousands of children are dying.

This Summit has invigorated a sense of responsibility in me as a young citizen of Planet Earth – there is more to professional lives and a little contribution/help to the society can bring happiness of millions of faces. There are people who are in urgent need of help to get clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.

I will now try to devote part of my personal time to get associated with some organization wherein I may contribute my skills, time and energy to make lives of people happy in some way or the other. This Summit reminds me of the saying that “We all need to be the change we wish to see in this world.”

Insight Piece:

Wonderful exposure to global thought, ideas, people, experience of people in the water sector. The Summit has opened my eyes to a world of contribution – each one of us as individuals can contribute to the cause of building a more sustainable planet earth, in terms of water and sanitation related issues across boundaries. It also showed the plight/situation of many people who are exposed to the vulnerability of water-related problems. An excellent platform to brainstorm thoughts, meet young fellow friends and listen from peers in the sector.

By Kunal Shah

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