National Geographic has taken up an initiative called National Geographic Mission Blue to address the cause of water scarcity. It aims to spread awareness and empower people with knowledge on what can be done to help millions of lives who are deprived of this precious resource.
The initiative also includes a lot of content on the channel to promote the cause. To start with, the channel has four short films that will premiere on missionblue.in. Apart from the main film creative and campaign that will run across media, National Geographic will also disseminate the message through various formats of storytelling to reach and appeal to as many people as possible. This includes specially created short films by award-winning directors Imtiaz Ali (Paani Panchayat), Hansal Mehta (Paani Path, directed by Jai Mehta), Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (Baiju) and Madhur Bhandarkar (Ek Balti Pani directed by Anand Kumar) who creatively bring out the key message through everyday stories of India.
After that, around May 12, a television series of special documentaries on the water issue; both global and local, will be launched. One of these is a TV series ‘Parched’ by Alex Kidney, the Oscar winning director, which also includes a local documentary titled ‘To The Last Drop’.
Swati Mohan, Business Head India, National Geographic and Fox Networks Group, said, “While we are running this campaign on digital and other media platforms, there are a lot of people who are working on ground to make things better. We want to include all of these to our initiative in some way or the other.”
Mission Blue underlines the need for collective action to ensure a better tomorrow. Through specially created digital tools, people will get a sense of not just how severe the water problem is, but also how small changes in daily lives can help reduce their ‘water footprint’.
The initiative was announced in Mumbai in the presence of Farhan Akhtar, key partner and face of the campaign, Bollywood directors Imtiaz Ali, Hansal Mehta, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Madhur Bhandarkar, and Water Aid Foundation; who are all part of this initiative. Water Aid Foundation, a non-profit known for its contribution to the cause of water, has also partnered with National Geographic Mission Blue, where they will together help provide clean drinking water to schools.
Mohan added, “National Geographic has always been a brand that has stood for driving purposeful change; something we have been doing for over a century now. 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.”
Commenting on his association with the initiative, Akhtar said, “I am proud to be associated with an iconic brand that has the legacy of working for the cause of preserving the planet. 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 realise the responsibility of conserving water for their own future is in their own hands.”