Press release

UNESCO and partners celebrate World Water Day 2021

22 March 2021:  UNESCO New Delhi, along with various partners, organized today a hybrid event with school children and teachers to celebrate ‘World Water Day 2021’. It included felicitating the winners of a water conservation awareness programme, and screening of their winning animation short films.  

UNESCO launched this programme nation-wide last September for school children in India, in partnership with the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the United Schools Organization (USO), Water Digest and India-based global animation major Toonz Media Group.  Entitled “H2Ooooh! – Waterwise program for children of India”, this innovative initiative encouraged school students between the age of 6-14 years to submit story ideas for animated short films to raise awareness on water conservation and its sustainable use.  

As many as 93 shortlisted students, including eight children with disabilities, underwent a training in basics of 2D animation including script writing, character sketching and storyboarding by Toonz Animation mentors as part of the programme. The students had been shortlisted after multiple screenings from over 17,000 participants from 43 schools across the country. 

We thank all our partners for this unique initiative, through which we hope children learned about the importance of water, which has enormous value for households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.
Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director
Creativity of children & youth is boundless. I compliment UNESCO to come up with this innovative idea to make them #WaterWise through animation films and learn while doing. I wish all our young friends the very best and may their wisdom help us in managing water better.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Government of India
It is an immense privilege for Toonz to partner with UNESCO and USO for this highly creative initiative, and that too for such a noble cause. We are happy to interact with the young talents and help them learn the basic nuances of animation. We hope to create excitement among them for water conservation through this beautiful medium.
P. Jayakumar, CEO, Toonz Media Group
USO is extremely pleased to be part of this unique program for school students. H2Ooooh! is a creative and innovative way to learn about a subject that is of paramount importance to all of us – water. And, experiencing it through the lens of the students, was truly an eye-opening experience for us!
Nina Jain, Secretary-General, United Schools Organization of India.
We are honoured to be a part of such a great initiative spearheaded by UNESCO. It’s the youth, who has the capacity to hold the baton and lead the way with their innovative ideas and problem-solving attitude. My best wishes to the creative champions!
Anupama Madhok, Director and Editor, Water Digest

During the implementation of the first phase of the programme in 2020, the participating schools screened 24 animation videos, both in English and Hindi, on different water issues. These videos, originally developed by UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, based in Venice (Italy), had been translated into Hindi by UNESCO New Delhi. Other resource tools included discussions and quizzes based on educational materials specially developed by UNESCO to help students develop a deeper understanding of issues on water resources. 

The original H2Ooooh! initiative was elaborated in Italy by Gruppo Alcuni, UNESCO Venice Office and RAI Fiction (TV).

For further information, contact:

Neha Midha, National Programme Officer (
Rekha Beri, Public Information Officer (

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