Gujarat’s Jal Utsav celebrates water, life, and sustainability

India’s first carbon-neutral festival, Jal Utsav, was held from November 15-35 in Amreli, Gujarat. The 10-day festival with a theme of water conservation drew more than 1,25,000 visitors.

Gujarat’s Jal Utsav celebrates water, life, and sustainability

Tuesday December 05, 2023,

2 min Read

In a celebration of water, life, and sustainability, India’s first carbon-neutral festival, Jal Utsav, was held from November 15-25 at Het Ni Haveli, Lathi Dudhali in Gujarat’s Amreli district.

Presented by the Dholakia Foundation in collaboration with the Government of Gujarat, the water-themed festival addressed diverse issues focusing on water conservation, while offering various activities to visitors in a carnival-like atmosphere.

It was inaugurated by Bhupendrabhai Patel, the Chief Minister of Gujarat; and Governor of the State Acharya Devvrat.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “In Saurashtra, almost everyone is experiencing water scarcity. However, today, in this region with high salinity, the lakes are full of rainwater, thanks to a splendid initiative by the state government and the Dholakia Foundation.”

The governor said that the Jal Utsav is a celebration of water, which is life itself.

The Jal Utsav saw wide participation with the number reaching 1,25,000 people by the end of the 10-day festival.

The Amrut Van Botanical Garden for the cultivation and study of a diverse range of plant species with over 75+ varieties available for research and the KNP Bird Park with macaws from Central America and Mexico and 48 different species of birds from all over the world attracted visitors in hordes.

The main dome featured a huge central screen complemented by six additional screens, offering optimal audience viewing. There was also a Water Pavilion that showcased the importance of water, and educated visitors on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event also offered fun-filled and adventurous activities like paramotoring, water sports like jet skiing, banana rides, kayaking, flyboarding, and more, and also included a hot air balloon ride that turned out to be a major draw of the festival.

A roundtable discussion titled 'Vision for a water secure India’ brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including government officials, corporate executives, water experts, and representatives from non-governmental organisations, to address the critical issue of water security in India.

The organisers of the Jal Utsav, The Dholakia Foundation, has played an important role in water conservation, creating 140 lakes in Gujarat's water-scarce regions, and conserving over 15 billion litres of water.

According to a company spokesperson, the foundation has planted 2.5 million trees in Amreli district, and is focused on renewable energy, producing over 3 million solar units. The Foundation is also committed to social welfare and CSR and promoting the SDGs.

Edited by Megha Reddy