Celebrities attend community water initiative launch near Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Jan 3 : A host of stars from Hollywood and the Bollywood descended on a small village near here Friday to support community water initiative launched by WaterHealth India.

Actor Jon Cryer, director John Williams, playwright Gretchen Cryer, talk show host Lisa Joyner and NPR and McNeil-Lehrer News Hour contributor Lee Cullum were among the celebrities who attended the inauguration of community water system at Janawada, a village in Ranga Reddy district, about 40 km from here.

Bollywood stars Jackie Shroff, Dia Mirza and Gulshan Grover added glamour to the event, which marked the launching of Jaldhaara Foundation of WaterHealth India (WHIN) to provide clean and safe drinking water for underserved communities.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and US Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell inaugurated the plant. Former US ambassador to India Richard Celeste and his wife Jacqueline Lundquist, who is chief serendipity office at WaterHealth International attended the event.

With the inauguration of first free WaterHealth Centre or community water system in India, WHIN has launched Jaldhaara Foundation which aims to initially raise $5 million.

"We are pleased to have received donations from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trusts, 65 US philanthropists including Jon Cryer, John H Williams and Ambassador Richard Celeste, and the support from Apollo Hospitals, Godrej Industries and Taj Hotels," said Jacqueline.

Jaldhaara Foundation is a not for profit organization that aims to design and implement social programs that promote safe water awareness, availability and consumption and transform hygiene practices in underserved communities in India by focusing on women and children.

The Water for Schools initiative being launched by Jaldhaara will provide clean drinking water to close to a million school children that are within a few kilometers of WHIN's existing portfolio, within the next 2-3 years.

WHIN, a wholly owned subsidiary of Water Health International, has 500 WaterHealth Centers across 36 districts of India covering Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu providing safe drinking water access to over five million people at a low cost.

WaterHealth International runs similar operations in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Bangladesh.

--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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