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 Water Internship Took Sankalp Sharma To Greater Heights 

Date of Publish - Wednesday, 11th October 2017
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Sankalp Mohan Sharma, an environmentalist, opens up how recognition followed him due to his passion for water conservation.

Sankalp Sharma talks about his initiative to raise awareness about climate change and how small steps can make a big difference.

Gaining global recognition is not an ordinary task. It is the constant exhortation of parents and teachers to gain recognition through education, business, entertainment field, etc. All these are correct ones for career and accomplishments, but Sankalp chose another route to be an international role model – by taking water internship route.

Socio entrepreneurship is not a new phenomenon. National and international communities have been promoting water conservation, water harvesting, or water recycling for many years and today many celebrities come forward to support water conservation. The government goes great lengths to support water conservation initiatives to develop water conservation habits among citizens. It is in this backdrop, Sankalp Sharma, a 17-year-old student, understood the concept water internship and learned the basics of water conservation habits and taught the same to different communities.

Leadership Through Water Causes!

Extracurricular activities were in the DNA of Sankalp. It was accidental that he came across Walkforwater a foundation involved in promoting clean water cause and water conservation in Karnataka. In January 2017, when the founder member Karunakara M Reddy came to Karnataka, he spotted the leadership qualities of Sankalp and made him Walkforwater Foundation’s Karnataka State Head. During his one to one interaction with Reddy, Sankalp impressed him with his zeal for extracurricular activities and showed his keenness for water internship.

Water Internship

The water programme taught him to work alongside nature sacrificing his sleep. The internship was for two and a half months where he could sleep from 3 am to 4 am during the early hours. Other times, he had to work in the field studying, networking\ with influencers, environmentalists, and communities to take Walkforwater pledge and be a part of the main event on March 22, the World Water Day.

His next challenge was to take the water internship message to school and colleges and creating leadership. In this capacity, he selected 15 student leaders from Karnataka who were older than him. Weekly tasks included spreading awareness, finding sponsors, contacting secretaries, MLAs, MPs, partner with companies and NGOs, etc. Sankalp made an impact among them.

The Outreach The team had to go down to meet the bottom of the pyramid class like gardener’s, plumbers, cleaners, house staff and other blue-collar workers who consume water and often get the ill effects of unclean water. These were the sections that were educated and engaged for clean water programmes. Seeing their enthusiasm Bangalore Water and Sewerage Supply Board (BWSSB) workers came forward and helped the team to spread awareness. As the team grew, work became easier to reach education institutes and government institutions to take part in water conservation and clean water programmes.

As the Water Day approached the efforts caught the imagination of people and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah took part in the event. The event attracted 1500 people inviting extensive media coverage.

To become a leader that too for an NGO is not an easy task. Sankalp had to perform as a Climate Leader showing results on water conservation front. In the capacity as a Climate Reality Leader, he worked hard to restore more than 12,000 dried up borewells across India getting him national attention.

Awards and Recognition for Water Causes

After this event, Aryan Institute of Teachers Training chose him for Aryan Young Achiever’s Award. This was to honour him as India’s youngest Climate Reality Leader to conserve water for The Climate Reality Project.

Sooner, International Youth Fellowship, South Korea selected him for a two weeks Leaders Conference across the cities of South Korea. The project was for cleaning polluted water in Indonesia and Philippines where he made a mark.

What more to say, in Al Gore’s book ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, Al Gore has featured Sankalp’s work and achievement as the youngest Climate Reality Leader of India inviting global acclaim.

Services to Environment will Not Go Waste

People like Sankalp Sharma can give lead in river water cleansing, water conservation, and clean water supply as he has a wealth of ideas for such projects. The bottom line is water internship can make many leaders like Sankalp. Put it just, when one helps the environment, the environment lifts that person. That is the law of nature that worked on Sankalp's advantage. Over to students to choose water internship for career promotion.

Perala Chandrasekhar Rao
Vice Chairman
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan

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