Toonz partners with UNESCO India and USO for ‘H2Oooh! Waterwise Program’

Toonz Animation Pvt. Ltd.

On World Water Day, UNESCO along with its partners, released three animation films under its initiative ‘H2Ooooh! – Waterwise Program’ for the children of India. The films are based on the stories submitted by school students focusing on the protection and conservation of Indian Rivers.

The initiative was launched by UNESCO in July 2021, jointly with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), United Schools Organization of India (USO), Ri8Brain – Toonz Media, and Water Digest.  Since its launch, nearly 31000 students from 53 schools in 18 Indian states have been engaged actively, with the support of over 400 teachers. 

In his opening address, UNESCO New Delhi director Eric Falt said, “In order to achieve SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation) it is absolutely essential to foster the knowledge and skills of young people to become Water-Ambassadors for improved water resources management in the future.”

Divided into three phases, the project aims to spur creativity and raise awareness on water conservation and its sustainable use for students between the age of six to 14 years, by providing training and encouraging them to submit paintings and story ideas for the animated short films.

Toonz Media Group CEO P. Jayakumar said, “Toonz is honoured to be part of this prestigious project along with UNESCO and NMCG. Working with children and bringing out their creative talents for this socially relevant initiative has been very exciting and gratifying for our team.”

During Phase I (July to August 2021), the participating schools screened 27 films produced by UNESCO on different water issues. In Phase II, 200 students underwent two weeks of online training in scriptwriting, character sketching, and animation, and subsequently submitted their stories in a competition during Phase III. The best three entries were selected for the production of animation films. These are by Pranita B., R.MK. Senior Secondary School, Tamil Nadu; Aditi Mitra, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kerala; and Sai Darshini, Harvest International School, Karnataka. These films bring out the message of river protection and conservation through the lens of a child.  

NMCG director-general G Ashok Kumar said, “The involvement of children in Namami Gange Programme is pivotal to it being successful. This Waterwise program is an innovative initiative that brings forth fresh and young ideas on issues related to river rejuvenation and communicating them through animation films.”

United Schools Organization of India (USO) secretary-general Nina Jain said, “The creativity that we have seen from students in the form of stories and stop-motion animation is truly praiseworthy!” 

Water Digest director and editor Anupama Madhok added, “This unique initiative shapes the young minds and weaves the threads of creativity and awareness into the fabric of water conservation beautifully.”

UNESCO and the partners have agreed to continue to work in these areas to promote living in harmony with nature, with a special focus on the youth.

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