MONTREAL, CANADA, November 19, 2013 – ONE DROPTM is setting a new standard in the use of social arts for awareness, community mobilization and behavioural change by partnering with critically-acclaimed filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda, director of such hits as “I Am Kalam” and “Jalpari – The Desert Mermaid”, to produce a feature-length Bollywood film revolving around issues of water access and sanitation.
In India, 128 million people are deprived of safe water and 839 million more live without basic sanitation. The situation is especially dire in rural areas, where the lack of access to these essential services is a widespread issue affecting the most vulnerable. ONE DROP’s projects use a unique approach involving water access, financial inclusion, and social arts in order to ensure the sustainability of interventions.
“A big challenge in the water sector is the failure of water access projects due to a lack of behavioral change- neglect of wells, safe water becoming contaminated, or continued poor hygiene practices”, says Danielle Valiquette, Chief International Program Officer, One Drop. “In One Drop’s projects, social arts, such as theatre tours or youth workshops, have been demonstrated to be effective in changing these behaviours and instilling a sense of ownership over water resources amongst the community. We are extremely excited as this film is the largest social arts initiative we’ve embarked on since it has the potential to reach millions in an innovative and entertaining way.”
Titled “Kaun Hai Kitne Paani Mein” (“Who is How Deep in Water”), and featuring well-known Bollywood stars Kunal Kappor, Radhika Apteym, Gulshan Grover and Saurabh Shukla, the film will explore themes such as the sanctity of water, the difference it makes when a population respects its water supply, castes, and rural life against the backdrop of a traditional Bollywood love story. It is the first time ever that rural villagers in the State of Odisha, one of the poorest in India and where the film is set, will be able to recognize their own traditional folk music and choreography, landscapes, and neighbours in mainstream Indian cinema, instilling a sense of pride and emotional connection.
One Drop’s project in India, including this film, is funded in part by Royal Bank of Canada through its RBC Blue Water Project and United Technologies Corporation. Both organizations are strongly committed to addressing water issues as part of their corporate responsibility programs. Filming is underway. The feature is expected to be released in India in the first half of 2014.
About One Drop
One Drop—a non-profit organization created in 2007 by Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberté—strives to ensure that water is accessible to all, today and forever. One Drop significantly and sustainably improves living conditions through innovative projects which promote self-reliance in communities worldwide. To learn more, visit www.OneDrop.org.
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