Lack of access to clean drinking water is the reality for millions of Indian citizens, an issue that National Geographic and Water Aid India are hoping to tackle through the launch of Mission Blue. With support from top Bollywood talent, the initiative aims to raise awareness about water scarcity and demonstrate how small acts of conservation every day can help secure a safe, clean water supply for future generations.
Mission Blue will see Nat Geo air documentaries and television specials spotlighting the country’s water crisis across its channels in India. The short films, which have been made available on the initiative’s website, touch on how water scarcity impacts daily life for people in India and are directed by Bollywood heavy hitters Imtiaz Ali, Hansal Mehta, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, and Madhur Bhandarkar.
“I am proud to be associated with an iconic brand that has the legacy of working for the cause of preserving the planet,” said Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar, who serves as the face for the campaign. “National Geographic Mission Blue is a very special initiative that is very close to my heart. It has the power to enlighten, inspire and empower people who are unaware of what they can do towards the cause of water scarcity and drive real change. I hope people will realize the responsibility of conserving water for their own future is in their own hands.”
National Geographic will also air Parched, Academy Award winner Alex Gibney’s three-part documentary series about the environmental and political causes of water scarcity around the globe.
To further engage viewers, Mission Blue’s website has been designed to provide viewers with an interactive experience in which they can calculate their own water footprints and provides tips on the different ways they can save water every day.
“National Geographic has always been a brand that has stood for driving purposeful change, something we have been doing for over a century now,” said Swati Mohan, Business Head at National Geographic and Fox Network Group India. “Today, the water crisis around the world calls for much attention. In India alone, 76 million people lack access to safe water, a problem that is only going to get worse if no immediate action is taken. We are hopeful that this initiative will help enlighten people on what can be achieved by collective action.”
The channel has also teamed up with Water Aid India for **MissionBlueMySchool **to provide clean drinking water to a school in southwest Delhi, which currently relies on tanker trucks for its water supply. Through the initiative, Nat Geo and Water Aid India aim to install a piped supply system for the school, which serves 2,500 students, in addition to coolers, filters and a rainwater harvesting system.
In the last five years, the National Geographic Society has funded more than 50 grants relating to conservation in the United States and around the world. For World Water Day 2017, it joined forces with Stella Artois and director Crystal Moselle to create Our Dream of Water, an extension of the brewer’s Buy a Lady a Drink campaign which aims to raise awareness about the global water crisis.
“While National Geographic’s legendary storytelling and iconic images have helped raise awareness of critical water issues, the fact is we go far beyond creating content. We help people stop and think about what’s going on in the world today, but also — more importantly — what could happen to make it better,” said Gary Knell, President and CEO of National Geographic Society.