RBC Announces Project India Initiative To Educate And Improve Drinking Water Access

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TORONTO — ONE DROP and RBC announced a new and innovative initiative, Project India, that will educate and improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation in Orissa, one of India’s poorest states. Project India will be funded by a $1.1 million grant provided by RBC.  Guy Laliberté, Chair of ONE DROP and Founder of Cirque du Soleil, and Gordon M. Nixon, President and CEO of RBC were on hand for the announcement made at LA SOIRÉE ONE DROP under the big top of Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM™ at the Toronto Port Lands.

“ONE DROP is acting as an agent of change by joining forces with the RBC Blue Water Project® and other local organizations to improve the living conditions and reduce poverty in India. This initiative, based on a social arts and popular education program, aims to encourage communities to adopt responsible behaviour and help preserve the vital resource of water,” explained Guy Laliberté, ONE DROP. “This evening, in Toronto, we have taken another step towards the dream of water for all – a source of life and a creative development force. I will continue reaching out to the world to make this dream a reality, one drop at a time, one step at a time, for future generations.”

Project India will partner with local organizations such as Gram Vikas, a non-governmental organization that has been working with poor and marginalized rural communities in Orissa since 1979. Gram Vikas will take the technical lead on the project, working with local residents to establish community-managed water supply and sanitation facilities. In addition, ONE DROP will collaborate with local organizations such as the Bakul Foundation, to create an arts and education program intended to provide lasting behavioural change with residents and in the community at large. The RBC Blue Water Project will fully fund the implementation of the arts and education component of Project India.

“India has some of the world’s most water-stressed regions, and on behalf of all of our clients from India, RBC is proud to be able to support such a worthy project,” said Gord Nixon, RBC.  “As a Canadian organization, we’re conscious of how challenging it can be to select the best overseas projects for funding, especially with an issue as complex as water. We’re confident that the collaboration between ONE DROP and such reputable and efficient organizations who are already working on the ground in Orissa can make a real difference.”