Called “Women in Sustaining the Environment” (WISE), the project is a collaboration between Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Tel Aviv University. Funded by the Consulate of Israel to South India (Bengaluru), it promotes sustainable water governance by supporting women’s participation in the choice, maintenance, and management of natural resources along with other sustainable development practices.
Her Excellency Ms. Dana Kursch is the Consul General of Israel to South India and inaugurated the project at Amrita’s Amritapuri Campus. In her address she said, “It is such an honor to speak to so many wise women here at Amrita who are acquiring and sharing knowledge to make the world better. It is a privilege to brainstorm together how wise men and women can come together to make a better world, specifically with regards to women’s empowerment.”
Women will be trained and certified as Sustainable Development Officers (SDOs) and will lead their communities in identifying key vulnerabilities and then create action plans to solve them. Practical, technical skills in natural resource protection empower the SDOs to become deeply engaged with problem identification, planning and action. It is the women who have the closest access to their community environments. By involving them in this process, the monitoring and reporting of resources will be a better reflection of the situations that families face.
The WISE Project is the latest innovation at the Centre for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality at Amrita. Amrita will be working with the UNESCO Chair on Technology, Internationalization, and Education at Tel Aviv University to pilot the initiative over the next months in flood affected regions of Kerala.
“The pilot phase will identify communities and select potential women Sustainable Development Officers and train them to maintain, monitor and replenish any one natural resource, using latest technologies,” said Bhavani Rao, UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
“If we used water as an example, the women would learn to perform audits for their communities by monitoring water levels, usage, and quality in their communities. They would work with the government to build water harvesting systems and reduce pollution at its source.”
Experts from Israel will work with resource experts from Amrita to create a curriculum and framework for the training programs and then assist community members with implementing the plans.
Photo 1 : Idukki was one of the regions in Kerala hit hard by flooding from May to August of 2018.
Photo 2 : Her Excellency Ms. Dana Kursch is the Consul General of Israel to South India.
Photo 3 : The launch of WISE at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
Photo 4 : Technological solutions for community issues at the grassroots level.
Photo 5 : Amma met with the Consul General of Israel to South India to express gratitude for the collaboration.