Celebrating Our Crucial Relationship With The Earth, Eco-Festival Maahiroj Is Back With Its Sixth Edition
- IWB Post
- April 14, 2019
Ahead of Earth Day, the one-of-its-kind eco-festival Maahiroj is back in full force with its 6th edition on the theme of Water – the force of all nature.
Maahiroj, literally translating into Earth day Every day, by AnanTaya is an experience of unearthing the planet’s potential for sustainability in collaboration with like-minded designers and artisans from across the country. With a string of events that include interactive workshops, inspiring talks, films, heritage walks, water meditations, cultural tours, eco drives and the latest collection of sustainable arts, the festival this year is set to bring together experts from various fields who have considered the planet in their choices.
Today, as the water crisis affects millions of people around the world, MaahiRoj, with its theme of water conservation, brings forward an important issue that needs to be addressed urgently. Even though progress has been made in the last few decades in terms of having access to safe drinking water throughout the world, according to statistics, 844 million people are still devoid of this basic necessity.
The water sources such as piped household water connections, boreholes, and dug wells, which should provide safe drinking water, are no more a reliable source, because pollutants generated by human activities are leading to water contamination, which in turn is resulting in adverse effects on mankind and the entire ecosystem. In addition, scientists around the world also point out that climate change due to global warming has its primary effects on the disruption of the water cycle, which is having an impact on the hydrological systems.
To look at answers to the issues, Geetanjali Kasliwal, founder of MaahiRoj, believes that the solution not only lies in the implementation of national-level policies to tackle the issue, but she calls out to every single person as responsible stakeholders of the planet to address the matter. Highlighting the importance of revisiting historic practices to conserve water, Geetanjali shares, “Water was always a precious resource, primarily on account of the scarcity, as well as the tedium of getting it. One often walked for long distances and pulled water from great depths manually. This resulted in people being careful about how and where to use it. Even activities like the washing of utensils were done with ash. Conserving water was not an act, it was a habit. The easy availability of water and the vast public distribution systems made water an easy to get commodity, and the onus of supply came upon the government, sadly, without the related education of the restraint that was needed to take care of this resource.
Earlier, people in their courtyards and homes had khas ki tatti’s (vetiveria zizanioides) windows installed which were naturally cooling. Also, the concept of rainwater harvesting played a major role in water conservation. It is important for people to understand that we need to reduce our carbon footprint through our work and ways of life.”
As the festival is centered around the theme of environmental concerns, Geetanjali explains that the underlying theme of the festival is not only to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 but every day, by making people conscious of their choices that affect the environment. Bringing together people from different walks of life, the festival this year also showcases innovative designer collections from grassroots and eco-conscious products that can be shopped from the latest collection.
While the inaugural ceremony will see the Magsaysay award winner ‘waterman of India’ Rajendra Singh talk about water conservation methods and issues related to it, the festival will also see some big names from the textile industry like Vikram Joshi, Himanshu Shani, master artisan Aziz Khatri; conservation architects like Nischal Jain and Neeraj Doshi; Farhad Contractor, Ar. Ambrish Arora, Manvendra Shekhawat; Nilotpal Majumdar (Narratives: water in film, Media); Rashmi Dickinson and Ar. Geeta Uppal (Sustainable steps by Women Mentor Forum) and Dr. Skye Morrison among the many experts who will be seen at the festival.
Among all the stakeholders of the planet, women, in particular, are seen bearing the burden of the water crisis in the rural areas. And to highlight the issue, the festival will have a day dedicated to them, where prominent women from the city and outside will be seen talking about sustainable and eco-conscious ways of life so as to inspire others.
Pointing out how the youth can act as agents of change to tackle environmental concerns, Geetanjali shares how her daughters in their small ways have been conscious of their choices. “My daughters are budding environmentalists. They try to add in an element of sustainability in everything they do and they try and influence everyone around them to follow suit. From using natural resources wisely to implementing the concept of re-use, they are very particular about following such steps. For Anunya, her commitment towards protecting the environment started when she saw a dead turtle along the sea coast. Witnessing that sight, she realized that environmental degradation is also going to take down mankind, as people are not willing to address these issues. I feel this young generation is certainly a changemaker and believes in taking actions. And with their initiatives and drive the world certainly can become a better place to live in.”
With water memories, meditations walks, and various workshops on food and art being a part of the festival, Monday, April 22, will also have in store some exciting activities for people like the Drum circle, film screenings, testing your own tap water and much more. The 10-day festival, from April 19-29 (11am -10pm), will be held at AnanTaya, The Kanota Courtyard, Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaipur.
To support this remarkable festival, Indian Women Blog is taking an initiative to make the voices of women heard and to highlight their representation in policy-making as inclusive stakeholders of the planet. Stay tuned for some fun activities as we reach out to people to awaken their spirit of conservation.
This initiative is supported by Poornima University and Pearl Academy both of which passionately believe that the future of design is tied umbilically to the future of our planet.