Nehha Bhatnagar organised a concert with Indian and international artistes using the ghatam as the leitmotif to raise awareness about the misuse of water. Shrabasti Mallik speaks to her about the programme
They say that a man can live without food for a few days but not a day without water. We know how important water is to us. We also know that we are living in a time where water is being misused without a revival plan in place. It is said that in the years to come, wars would be fought over water.
Nehha Bhatnagar, founder of Sarvam Foundation, along with Indian and international artistes organised a musical evening called Echoes of Empty Vessel in a bid to raise awareness about water conservation and the need to use water wisely.
Where did the ideas of organising Echoes of Empty Vessels come fromIJ
In conversations with friends, I realised that the one thing my South Delhi social circles are absolutely impervious to is the water crisis that could be our reality someday. long showers, private swimming pool parties, wasted glasses of water — these luxuries make me squirm now. The ghatam is an instrument that resembles an empty vessel and it symbolises the scarcity of water.
Tell us about the concept of the musical eveningIJ
Instead of having a full fledged ghatam evening which might not attract Delhi audiences in coming to watch the cause, I thought it might be interesting to have a ghatam as a leitmotif in a curated performance based evening where national and international artistes spread awareness on water conservation.
What else do you think can be done to save water and create awarenessIJ
#FIllEMPTYVESSElS is the call to action that we want people to use on social media to spread awareness on ways to save water. People who wish to donate can donate directly to HIMCON our conservation partner in Uttarakhand who will bring water to Khari village which is suffering from a water crisis.
How did you approach the international artistesIJ Did they relate to the causeIJ
The artistes from Iran, France and USA are friends of mine and they have lived in India for a few years now. They see how mismanaged our water authorities are and therefore this cause resonated well with them.
It is just not music but has dance, too. How did you bring together something as varied as Kathak, Persian and Arabic dance formsIJ
That’s what my expertise lies — in curating varied evenings of various art forms and talks. A diversity of dances will capture the imagination of people in a more forceful way.
Why did you name the event Echoes of Empty VesselIJ
Because the ghatam symbolises empty vessels. Empty vessels make more sound and I strongly believe that the sounds of warcries will be due to a lack of water for our population.