Writing on Water: Democratisation in Water Management

Video on the Pan Asian Water Colloquium held in Chennai, September 25 to 30th 2008. A group of Water Activists, Operators, Unionists, Academics, Researchers and Policy makers from 18 countries across the globe assembled in Chennai to participate in the Pan Asian Colloquium on “Rights to Water: Challenges and Solutions”. This film is a documentation of the journey of the delegates as they explore alternatives and experience the “The Democratization Experiment” of the Tamilnadu Water supply and Drainage baord. (TWAD). 

Part One: The adverse effects of the privatization of water in various parts of the world becomes apparent as the delegates share their experiences. Given that ‘Water’ is part of the Global commons and that privatization needs to be resisted; how does one proceed forward. What are the alternatives? What is this TWAD experiment. How and where does the journey begin?

Part Two: If the journey begins with the self; the transformation of the individual first; then can individual transformation become institutional transformation? The delegates visit a village near Chennai and see the result of the personal transformation and the spirit of voluntarism in one TWAD Engineer.

Part Three: The myths propounded the international financial institutions on the trillion dollar requirement for meeting the Milleinnum Development Goals on Water are demolished.

Part Four: The enabling tools of the process of transformation are discussed. “Koodam” as a concept of democratization is elaborated and how the voluntarism generated enthuses true community participation.

Part Five: The main issues of the Water Debate are discussed threadbare by the delegates from various countries; reaching the conclusion that one cannot ignore working with the governments.

Part Six: Inspired by the vision of a village community who have painted in the wall of a building, what they  want the village to be in ten years time; the delegates each take a vow to fight for reclaiming public water and to work to spread the idea of the democratization of water management.

Further resource: The report from the Pan-Asian Water Colloquium

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