After lunch with our Greengrants guests, we had some time to shop and purchase souvenirs and gifts for our teams at home. We all appreciated having Catherine Porter’s guidance and experience to help navigate the shopping scene in Delhi. It was a fun-filled afternoon followed by a lovely dinner together at the Imperial Palace Hotel. Tom surprised the group by announcing facetious awards for each member of the group. It was a really funny way to remember and recount our experience in India before spending one last trip on the bus together for our midnight flights back to the states.
Back in Delhi, Tuesday was our last day in India. Wow did it ever feel like the trip went fast yet we saw so much! On Tuesday morning we were privileged to have four individuals representing Greengrants’ work in India visit us to talk about some of the projects Aveda Earth Month candle proceeds are supporting. In many ways, the presentations we heard from these four people perfectly encapsulated what we had seen and experienced on this trip. First we heard from Ravi Agarwal who was Greengrants first Indian Advisor and now works with an organization called Toxics Link. Ravi outlined the many issues that affect water in India and the challenges faced in a country of 1.2 billion people. He also emphasized the need for bottom-up approaches that empower those people who are traditionally the most disempowered.
Next we heard from a Greengrants grantee – the Janhit Foundation – and learned about the great work they are doing to educate women in sustainable agriculture and pesticide reduction, rainwater harvesting and catchment systems, and reduction of toxins and contaminants. Our last presentation was from a Greengrants consultant that is leading a project in the Himalayan village of Tilwari that will deliver safe drinking water to the villagers. This project was entirely funded by Aveda Earth Month candle proceeds and is another way we’re improving access to clean water in the region surrounding the birthplace of Aveda. The project takes a very comprehensive approach to bring a sustainable water supply system to the village using water catchment and storage tanks, education around sanitation and water conservation, and ongoing maintenance of the system.
The group agreed that the morning of presentations really was the perfect way to spend the last day of the trip. It helped the group more fully understand the impact they’re helping to make in India and provided the inspiration and motivation to continue as leaders in fundraising through Earth Month.