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Nominations invited for third batch of Odisha Water Honours


Bhubaneswar: Water Initiatives, Odisha (WIO), a leading voice of water in Odisha for nearly three decades, has invited nominations from individuals and communities for the 3rd batch of the ‘Odisha Water Honours’.

The award is only of its kind in the state. It aims to recognise dedicated individuals and communities for their pioneering contributions in the field of water/ river/ ecology conservation and restoration through various actions such as conservation, awareness, education, advocacy, and grassroots initiatives.

The ‘Odisha Jala Joddha Samman’ is given for individual contributions while ‘Ajira Bhagiratha Samman’ is conferred for commendable efforts by a community/ organisation, informed Ranjan Panda, Convenor of Water Initiatives, also known as the ‘Water Man of Odisha’.


  • Odisha Jala Joddha Samman and Ajira Bhagiratha Samman to be conferred during 3rd Odisha River Conference, to be held with Similipal River Festival, on 24-25 March 2019 at Baripada
  • Women achievers and women led community efforts to conserve water resources and related fields are especially encouraged to apply for this year’s Honours
  • Selfie with Budhabalanga River and other competitions in the countdown to 3rd Odisha River Conference are efforts to involve youth and children in river and forest conservation
  • More than 100 participants from across the nation to participate in 3rd Odisha River Conference to discuss Forest-River-Communities linkage for the conservation of Rivers and combating Climate Change.

For the Odisha Jala Joddha Samman, applications are invited from individuals who have contributed positively towards building awareness on issues like water and water-forest-biodiversity inter-linkages or have done pioneering work through their publications, individual actions or other means that have influenced policy decisions and initiated community mobilisation on these issues, Panda added.

For the Ajira Bhagiratha Samman nominations are invited from communities/ groups/ organisations who have been doing exemplary work in conservation of water resources, protection of natural forests that have increased the availability of water resources in the locality, or any such efforts in water conservation/ management that has empowered communities assert their rights over water and impacted their lives, livelihood and local ecology positively.

He continued: “These honours are not only a tribute to people and communities who are endeavouring hard to work on water/ecology conservation, but also aimed at raising awareness about the dire need of such work at a point of time when water has already become a scarce resource and impacting millions of people and other species adversely.”

These applications need to be emailed to or sent via messages in the Mahanadi River Waterkeeper page in Facebook. The nominations can be made either by the concerned individuals/ groups or by others on their behalf.  The last date of sending nominations is 15th March 2019.

For further details, people are requested to write emails or post messages on the Mahanadi River Waterkeeper Facebook page.

These awards will be conferred on the selected persons and communities at Baripada on 24th March during the 3rd Odisha River Conference to be organised, along with Similipal River Festival, by the WIO in collaboration with more than 30 partner organisations, Panda briefed. “This time we are encouraging nominations from women and women-led community organisations for these honours,” he added.

Other Awards –

In the countdown to the 3rd Odisha River Conference, several local competitions are also being organised by WIO and local hosts at Baripada.

In the ‘Selfie with Budhabalanga’ Contest, youths in the age group of 18-25 from Odisha can participate. The competition, a part of WIO’s river-youth connect programme, aims at motivating the youth to get closer to rivers, love them, understand their plight and help save them.

A series of drawing and quiz competitions on Budhabalanga River and Similipal bio-reserve will also be organised among school and college students at Baripada, the host town. Exciting prizes await youth and children who participate and win in these competitions.  Prizes will be given away at the inaugural session of the conference.

3rd Odisha River Conference –

This time around, the theme for the Odisha River Conference is ‘Forest-River-Communities Nexus for Conservation of Rivers and Combating Climate Change’, to be held at Baripada on 24-25 March.  More than 100 participants including community members involved in forest and conservation; villagers, indigenous communities and farmers;  local and national level experts on river/water, forest and climate change issues; representatives from civil society organisations from across the nation; researchers, academics and other concerned people are expected to join the two day long intense deliberation that would lead to formulating future strategies of working together to conserve our rivers, lakes, other water resources, natural forests and promote nature-based solutions to combat climate change with complete participation of local and indigenous communities, Panda said.

As this conference reaches its third episode, it has turned into a huge collective endeavour to save the rivers and other ecosystems. More than 30 organisations from local, state, national and international levels have already given their consent to collaborate in this year’s river conference and more organisations have shown their interest to join, informed Panda.

Also read: Day After Effecting Major IPS Reshuffle, Odisha Govt Reshuffles OPS Officers

1 Comment
  1. Dr.Sujata Dash. says

    Its necessary . In towns due to open stand points without regulators lots of water are being drained out causing ground water scarcity.I have worked in tbis regard but inspite of the order of the High Court no positive responce from the govt .

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