Fluoride Network Secretariat in Delhi
In view of making a substantial difference in kick starting important activities.
The Fluoride Network secretariat team’s three day exploratory visit to Delhi to interact with partners was held from 3-7 February 2014.
Our itinerary kicked off on February the 3rd with joining Nitya Jacob of Centre of Science and Environment over Lunch at the India Habitat Centre. It was an informal meet where we brainstormed on how the Fluoride Network could design a State of the Sector report for Fluorosis together with his help. Nitya also agreed to be part of the network endeavor of designing the state of the sector by way of giving it structure.
Following this we met up with the Hindi Water Portal staff, Minakshi and Kesar at 3pm. Minakshi and Kesar had been really excited about involving the Hindi media to report on fluorosis issues for a long time now. And we had discussions around this with them.
On the same day the secretariat team visited the Participatory research in Asia (PRIA) Office where we met up with Mr. Alok Paney, Senior Manager, PRIA. PRIA have phenomenal expertise in governance issues, training communities and working with Panchayats and we felt that it would really be good to involve PRIA in introducing participatory approaches in the regional hubs the network was going to be active in.
On Feb the 4th the team had a meeting with Subrat Das and Kanika Kaul at the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability in the morning. The purpose of this meeting was to find out how CBGA as a network partner could help the network analyse existing government programs on water safety.
As a result of this meeting CBGGA have agreed to moniter the National program for prevention and control of Fluorosis (NPPCF) at an overall level and also agreed to involve one of their partners to do a regional study on the same program.
In the evening the Secretariat team went for a Workshop on Sanitation organised by Wateraid, where we made a presentation on linkages between Groundwater and sanitation. the network team also had brief discussions on ways to collaborative in Madhya Pradesh on Fluorosis, including having discussions on a possible network meeting in MP.
On Feb the 5th the team visited the Akvo Office in New Delhi, We got a chance to interact with network members Amitangshu Acharya, Isha Parihar (Akvo) and Samuel Rajkumar (TernUp).
Samuel Rajkumar is currently busy on developing a mobile based app for Fluoride testing called Caddisfly which is based on a color detection technology where the sensor is able to detect the color of the water to be tested based on which it is able to tell the concentration of Fluoride in water.
We also got to know about the Akvo tool called Akvo FLOW which is a mobile based Data collation and field survey application tool.
We tried to brainstorm on how we could make use of both Caddisfly as well as Akvo FLOW in detecting as well as relaying information regarding fluorosis onto different platforms, as well as testing these technologies on field locations the network was getting ready to work in.
The team ended it’s engagements with visiting IRRAD in Gurgaon. IRRAD have recently done a study on Fluorosis recently in the District of Mewat in Haryana and we felt it would be good to involve them in work on fluorosis in that region.