Saturday, August 7, 2010

US India Strategic Dialogue and Water/Sanitation

Two important recent pieces of news that I want you to be aware of:

This is U.S. Department of State’s Assistant Secretary Bob Blake talking recently about how important water and sanitation are to the US/India strategic dialogue:

Invest in India's water and sanitation sectors: US official

And this is State’s Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley talking about a recent US/India Donors Forum on Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation:

Partnering With India On Water

Why do I post these? In order to get people thinking not simply about the importance of safe drinking water and sanitation to the strong relationship between the US and India, but in order to get more people thinking about how we can all make sure that safe drinking water and sanitation enjoy a prominent place in the US India Strategic Dialogue.

But more importantly, how can these two public statements turn into something real and tangible for those living in India without safe water and sanitation? Can these public statements be turned into water and sanitation for 1000+ Indian schools over the next two years? How about 5000+ schools? What type of partnership between the US and Indian governments, private foundations, corporations and nonprofits should result from this high level of political capital. How can we get the Indian diaspora community in the US excited about this opportunity? How can we carve out roles for a handful of private foundation trustees and philanthropists? Who are the 3-4 CEOs most likely to incorporate something like this into their corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Email me if you want to lend a hand, either in the US or India.

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