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Meet Project Sunlight leader Meesha Gandhi

In India, more than 600,000 children die before the age of five from diarrhoea and pneumonia. These deaths could be prevented through proper hygiene and sanitation programmes. Even at the young age of 17, Meesha Gandhi is aware of the severity of these issues and along with Unilever Project Sunlight, is committed to creating a bright future of abundance and equality.

On World Water Day 2013, Meesha was chosen by her school as the Survey Team Head. This provided her with the opportunity to visit slums, residential homes, hospitals, and offices around Mumbai to witness the water problems in these areas. “Our visit to slums was eye opening. Open sewage channels run the length of the narrow lanes. The smell is repulsive. The scenes made me nauseous. The residents are oblivious to the smells and conditions. I told the children it was unhygienic to have an open sewage. They said, ‘Yeh toh chalta hai’ – ‘This is completely fine’.

“This is unacceptable.” After witnessing the situation in Delhi, Meesha and her classmates created a water conservation device which helped people easily allocate their daily water ration for cooking, washing and bathing. Meesha believes that sanitation is a basic human right for all men, women, and children. She is particularly passionate about how this crisis affects women and girls, who often leave school during puberty without the basic right to proper sanitation. “Be the voice for the silent masses. Speak for those who ask for nothing and are often forgotten. Make them matter to you.”

Meesha is now our ambassador for Project Sunlight – one of the child leaders, we believe will help India usher in a #brightfuture. This year, Unilever Project Sunlight is committed to the health and well-being of people in India and is working with PSI and e-Kutir in Chhindwara to provide toilet facilities and clean drinking water for 36,250 people.

Join Unilever Project Sunlight and Meesha in making a difference, log on to www.projectsunlight.co.in .

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