Running Dry - Leave Some For Our Children.

Shree Niketan Matriculation Higher Secondary School

Tamil Nadu


Shalini Mohan


Sneha B,

Paveethra BKN,

Varadharaj P,

Janani CM,

Janarthanan J,

Step 1 FEEL

The challenges that bothered us include: a. Surface water and ground water depletion in and around Thiruvallur b. Due to the ground water depletion, the school was unable to supply the drinking water during the morning sessions c. Consuming water drawn from deep bore well causes kidney stones formation d. Due to reverse osmosis (RO) system three fourth of the water quantity is being wasted e. People dump their garbages in ponds and lakes and pollute the water source and maintenance of the water source has become challenging. f. Throwing and burning of garbages along with plastics in open spaces is really a threat

Drinking water is a finite source and conserving it is very critical. The exponential growth of middle-class in Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu is raising unprecedented demands on clean and safe drinking water. Long dry spells with the temperamental monsoons only aggravate this paucity. Surface water isn’t the only source reaching a breaking point in Thiruvallur. Ground water is also under great stress and drawing water from deep bore wells cause kidney stones in people who consume it without any treatment. Considering the above statements we have chosen to design a model (natural water purifier) to create awareness among school children and society.

Students and staff of the school are directly affected, who are coming from a long distance are depending on school’s drinking water. Their primary concern is to get safe drinking water throughout the day.


• To create awareness among the students, staff and parents of the school on the importance of saving water by various activities (enacting skits / dance / through songs) and conducting various competitions among the students. • Fixing and replacing the leaking taps and aerators to reduce the water flow in taps and also fixing the water sensor in overhead tanks to avoid the overflow of water • Collecting the RO waste water in tanks and re-using it for watering gardens • To observe the behavioral changes in students and staff of the school in saving water and installed a water meter to check the uptake of water from the ground and its utility in school • To design and expose the “Natural Water Purifier” with the support of government organizations in order to reach the public without any water loss • Cleaning a pond to increase the water storage capacity in Thiruvallur

Almost all the solutions listed above were implemented except cleaning a pond which supports water facility to Thiruvallur. Out of all that is listed above, we showed special attention in making a natural water purifier as it prevents the wastage of water unlike the commercial water purifiers. This project will also enhance the economy of potters and the incorporation of traditional knowledge system. We felt that all these changes should be done in school in order to develop the ‘save water behavior’ in students which may help the society in the present and the future.

Step 3DO

Planning: A DFC squad was formed based on the student’s interest, suggestions and involvement in saving water. A curriculum was framed for a month where students designed a plan and started executing it one by one. Spreading the message: The DFC Squad in association with Eco-club, Social Service club and Cultural club worked together to perform the following activities such as speech, singing, dancing, enacting drama/skits and demonstration on Natural Water Purifier in other schools, colleges, government organizations and public to create an impact on the message “Save Water”. Implementing the solutions: DFC squad enquired about the availability of water meter, water sensor, aerators and water storage tanks in order to implement the solutions they initially came up with. Water meter (Kranti) was installed in school - A block to check the amount of water drawn from the ground and its utilization per day. The leaking taps in restrooms were replaced with good ones. RO waste water was collected in a tank for watering gardens. Some of the taps in school were also fixed with aerators to reduce the water flow in taps. The water sensor arrested the water loss from the overhead tanks. Natural Water Purifier was designed using the natural filter bed such as fine sand, coarse sand, charcoal, small stones, pebbles and herbs such as vettiver (in Tamil) and thethankottai (in Tamil) in a mud pot to get purified drinking water without any water loss

We could observe a lot of behavioral changes such as filling only 3/4th of the water bottles with drinking water, using the drinking water wisely, taking pledge in class room, washing hands using low water flow, collecting the RO waste water in tank and re-using it, consuming the natural purified water by the students, reduction in overall water usage in school were noticed. Students of other schools and the public were highly enthusiastic to consume the water collected from the Natural Water Purifier and were interested to know the procedure on designing their own set up.

Approximately 10,489 members were impacted by the solution Organization No. of people reached Shree Niketan Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thiruvallur 3,500 students and 160 staff members PUP School, Kosavanpalayam 25 students and 2 staff PUP School, Siruvanoor Kandigai 30 students and 2 staff Bharathidasan Matriculation Higher Secondary School 200 students and 7 staff Kshetra Vidhyalaya School 250 students and 8 staff Shree Niketan Patasala School 1500 students and 15 staff Ashirvaad Ashram, Siruvanoor Kandigai 20 students and 10 staff Thirumurugan Arts and Science College 600 students and 20 staff Indira College of Education 200 students and 10 staff Municipality Office - Thiruvallur 30 members Clean Thiruvallur Expo 2500 members Social media (Facebook /Whatsapp….) 2400 members

People really appreciated the efforts taken by the students in spreading the awareness on save water. They were also motivating us to make the Natural Water Purifier a sustainable one. The impact is also evidenced by the reviews and comments received from social media like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and You tube. People also participated and gave a positive response in a survey conducted in Instagram for the awareness created on save water campaign. Apart from all this, many positive feedback's were given by the public. Testimonial • I want to thank your school and the DFC team for taking efforts in creating awareness and making us realize the importance of saving water for the future generation - Mrs. Lakshmi, PUP School, Kosavanpalayam • Congratulations to the DFC team and the school for an excellent demonstration and awareness activities by the students in Clean Thiruvallur Expo 2018 - Sanitary Officer, Thiruvallur Municipality, Thiruvallur Quote: There is no life without water on Earth

• Addition of new curriculum with the regular academics was initially hard for us to follow • Restrictions from the parents in allowing us for the awareness campaigns • Learning the MS office without proper guidance was initially tough • To make the upper middle class people realize the wastage of water in RO unit and to make them believe that low cost natural water purifiers are the best • All these challenges were overcome when we performed well in academics and the awareness campaign as well. The upper middle class people were also convinced when the model was appreciated by the Member of Parliament, Minister of Rural Industries and the District Collector of Thiruvallur in the Clean Thiruvallur Expo 2018.

15-30 Days

Clean water and sanitation

According to the Global Goals For Sustainable Development, By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity. We feel that we have tried our best in creating awareness, in finding solutions to conserve water, to re-use the waste water and made a model of natural water purifier without any water loss. We hope to reach many people in the future.

Step 4 SHARE

How did you share your project with your school and community?By conducting assembly programs, meeting the students in class room, conducting competitions among the students on slogan saying and chart making and appreciating them, uploading the videos and the DFC project updates in face book and other social media. Composing and singing songs, dance, street play and speech. Who did you share your project with? School and college students, staff, parents, government officers and public What was their response? Behavioral changes in students of our school such as cutting down the seemai karuvelam trees in their lands that draw more water from the ground, collecting the RO waste water and using it for various household purposes. We got positive feedback on save water campaign from the public. Based on the feedback received we found that many people are interested to make their own water purifiers similar to what we have designed and exhibited in ‘Clean Thiruvallur Expo - 2018’. They appreciated us for the efforts taken to spread the message on save water for the future generation. Most of them have started to reduce the flow of water in taps for various household purposes

More than 100

Currently we have replaced the RO water purifier with the natural water purifier in order to reduce the water wastage in school. Based on the feedback received from the parents we would like to educate more people regarding the benefits of consuming the naturally purified water. In the upcoming days, we would like to collaborate with government organizations to make this product available to the public.