Youth-run organisation eases access to drinking water

Dhaka,  Fri,  23 June 2017
Published : 14 Jun 2017, 21:03:17
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Youth-run organisation eases access to drinking water

Isabah Wazed


In 2010, the UN proposed water to be a fundamental human right.  The UN's Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.  Project Trishna, implemented by Footsteps Organisation which is a youth-based organisation has one simple premise-- to create easy access to qualitative drinking water. What makes Project Trishna special is that it is the first of its kind, as it uses the platform of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to ensure water as a basic human right. Footsteps' goal here was not only to give water to the people, but to create a sustainable platform. Ever since Project Trishna was launched in 2015, it has made an immense impact in Dhaka city, providing vast amount of free clean drinking water for those in different parts of the city by working alongside other corporations and businesses to have their filters out on public areas such as sidewalks and CNG stations where anyone can have access to them. The clients who have purchased filters from Footsteps for project Trishna have worked carefully with Footsteps and have helped Footsteps a great deal to progress with this idea for a sustainable platform to provide free clean drinking water.

Setting the right example

One of these clients is Taste of Lanka, a restaurant that serves authentic Sri Lankan cuisine in  Banani area of Dhaka city. Taste of Lanka is a restaurant that has existed in Dhaka for over a year and continues to offer a signature combination of Sri Lankan dishes. One object, however, that stands out when one looks at the restaurant is a water filter, one of the filters from Footsteps' Project Trishna. Every day, this restaurant helps countless people who work in the scorching heat of the unforgiving Dhaka climate. Taste of Lanka has contributed greatly to Footsteps' cause and continues to do so every day and remains a valuable client of Footsteps' and their filter has created access to over 40,000 liters of free clean drinking water for the people in their particular area, helping people such as rickshaw pullers, hawkers, street vendors and so many more. Taste of Lanka not only provides quality Sri Lankan cuisine, but quality access to drinking water.

By distributing responsibilities to businesses like Taste of Lanka and other large companies, Project Trishna has been able to sustain itself for almost two years by utilising the maintenance scheme provided by Footsteps for this project. Taste of Lanka leads by example and contributes to helping Footsteps tackle short term and long term development in this country. Footsteps is looking for more organisations, individuals and corporations to become a part of this project so that in a collaborative effort access to clean drinking water, especially the urban poor can be ensured.

Collaboration for the cause

On June 08, 2017 the President of Footsteps Organisation, Shah Rafayat Chowdhury and the Chief Strategy Officer of HandyMama.co Rezaur Rahman Robin signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding Project Trishna, a social venture implemented by Footsteps back in 2015 to provide free access for everyone in Dhaka city to clean drinking water using water filters. This MoU is to last till  May 31, 2019 or until a change is decided through mutual consent.

According to the MoU, HandyMama.co will supervise the servicing responsibility of Project Trishna filtration devices all over Dhaka city to ensure efficient and quality maintenance of all filters from Project Trishna. To quote the words of Rezaul Rahman Robin, 'We are much elated to receive such a meaningful collaborative proposal. HandyMama always looks forward to making an impact in the social welfare of masses.'

Shah Rafayat Chowdhury stated, 'The partnership between Footsteps Organisation and HandyMama will not only increase the quality and efficiency of Project Trishna itself, but will also increase access to clean drinking water in areas where people need it the most.'  

The partnership scopes that both these organisations have in mind are a service partnership where HandyMama.co will oversee the maintenance of these filters as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility due to advertisements of them placed on the filters themselves as well as online advertisement and press publicity. A vendor-retailer partnership will promote pitching of Project Trishna devices to potential clients in order to increase both presence and impact of the project. Footsteps and HandyMama will collectively access and leverage each other's business development channels for better presence in the market. The co-operation between the two organisations is expected to make the targets of project Trishna even more achievable. To showcase the enthusiasm behind this co-operation, HandyMama is willing to start the operations of this project partnership as early as this year.

The writer is a student at Sunbeams School and Operations Officer at Footsteps,

abahwazed@footstepsbd.org
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