OdishaPlus Bureau

The official mascot and new logo for the UNICEF-led ‘Youth4Water Plus’ campaign was unveiled at Olly’s Land in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

Gracing the occasion, Chief Guest Dr. Dilip Tirkey, President, Hockey India, and Guest of Honour Dr Gyana Das, Executive Director Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) Govt of Odisha made public the logo and mascot ‘Jolly’ which has been inspired from the concept of ‘Jal se Jolly’.

The dignitaries congratulated UNICEF and all partners for the timely campaign aimed to sensitize youth for promoting water conservation, sanitation and climate action.

On the occasion, ‘Jolly’, dressed up in trademark blue jersey of team India and a hockey stick in one hand, posed for a selfie with Olly, the turtle. For the unversed, Jolly typifies a young Odia girl on a mission to promote the cause of water, sanitation and environment.

A short thematic video, highlighting the journey of ‘Youth4Water Plus’ campaign was released at the event which was organised at the venue for the on-going FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup.

Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey, said, “Youth, with their high level of potential and motivation, are the best agents of change for a new and sustainable world. Thus, Youth4Water Plus campaign shall promote youth engagement in newer fields, like water preservation, and adapting to climate change, etc.”

Citing youth as the future leaders of climate resilience and sustainability, Additional Chief Secretary cum Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena earlier wished the campaign success, through a video. Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Govt of Odisha has joined hands as a partner of Youth4Water Plus.

At the outset, Officiating In-charge Chief Field Office, UNICEF Odisha Dr Sugata Ray welcomed the guests, while Shipra Saxena, WASH-CCES Specialist at UNICEF Odisha set the context for the launch event. Omkar Oniel Khare, Risk & Resilience Specialist, UNICEF, Odisha proposed the vote of thanks.

The Youth4Water Plus campaign aims to engage youth as well as empower & inspire them to become agents of change for Water Conservation, Climate Resilience, and WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene). It focuses on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in these fields.

Shipra Saxena, said, “We need to amplify messages about climate change and improve the lives of children and youth. As part of its commitment to child-centred actions and initiatives, UNICEF believes in bringing decision makers and influencers together with young people to not only raise awareness of issues that matter to young people, but also to generate additional opportunities for action and initiative.”

The campaign at present is being supported by partners from diverse fields, including other UN bodies, government, non-government, corporate, media and educational institutions. It has reached thousands of youth across the state over the past years.

Sabyasachi Hota, CGM OSDMA, Govt of Odisha also graced the occasion. The event was participated by officials of UNICEF Odisha and its partners, Volunteers of Youth4Water Plus campaign and youngsters.