November 16, 2011 00:30 ET

ONE DROP Kicks Off Project India: Raising the Orissa Population's Awareness of Water-Related Issues Through Arts and Theatre and Improving Access to Safe Water

BHUBANESWAR, INDIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2011) - Today marks the official launch of ONE DROP's Project India, which aims to improve access to safe water and raise the Orissa population's awareness of the need to protect this precious resource. The three year project uses social arts and popular education to improve behaviours with regards to water management and sanitation. During the first project phase, Natya Chetana, a local partner, will give 10 representations of its theatre show called "Thirst". Bakul Foundation, another partner, will start a series of educational arts based workshops. The following phases will demonstrate: three more theatre shows to be produced and tour 100 villages; film making workshops for youth and production of video clips; and circulation of social art forms in local trains, all initiatives focusing on water and sanitation to raise awareness of 55,000 people in Ganjam district.

A new partner in making water accessible to all

In addition to the $1.1 million contribution announced last September from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the project's principal partner and ONE DROP founding partner, a new partner today announces its contribution. United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX) confirms a multiyear financial and product contribution to support the access to safe water in the 100 villages. These contributions will provide more than 55,000 people with direct access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities.

"ONE DROP is pleased by the support of RBC and United Technologies for real action on making safe water accessible here in Orissa, one of India's most underprivileged regions. Today, we can witness the interest art and theatre hold for local residents and our Orissa partners are already convinced that the approach will draw attention and raise awareness. We would like to congratulate our partners for their creativity and expertise," said Lili-Anna Pereša, Executive Director of ONE DROP, who attended the performance with Claudia Barilà, a member of ONE DROP's Board of Directors.

"United Technologies is well known for the innovative, high-technology solutions that we offer in urban areas, yet our portfolio includes business unit products that deliver benefits in all environments and settings," said Zubin Irani, Senior Managing Director, UTC Commercial Companies in India. "We are pleased to join this partnership and to have our Milton Roy pumps playing a key role in making clean drinking water possible."

"India has some of the world's most water-stressed regions, and on behalf of all of our clients from India, RBC is proud to be able to support such a worthy project," said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "As a Canadian organization, we're conscious of how challenging it can be to select the best overseas projects for funding, especially with an issue as complex as water. We're confident that the collaboration between ONE DROP and the reputable and efficient organizations who are already working on the ground in Orissa can make a real difference."

ONE DROP in Orissa

ONE DROP will conduct its project in Orissa for three years, joining forces with Gram Vikas, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with underprivileged and marginalized populations in rural Orissa since 1979. Gram Vikas will coordinate the project's technical component and work with the locals to build water and sanitation installations, ensuring their longevity through grassroots application in their communities. United Technologies will contribute to the project's technical component, donating and installing the systems that determine the right chlorine doses needed to purify water. In addition to its local partners, ONE DROP can count on Canadian partners to help develop its social art approach, which include Adobe, Théâtre Aubergine, and Théâtre Parminou.

Different partners, same vision

"This project is very exciting as we are able to attempt something new and it promises tremendous possibilities in the way development interventions are carried out", said Sujit Mahapatra, Secretary of Bakul Foundation.

"Gram Vikas' partnership with ONE DROP's Project India has come at an opportune time as all our efforts to mobilise the community have involved traditional communication techniques. The collaboration of various partners with different skills will result in innovative ways of including social art and culture forms to bring social awareness and mobilise the community. Contextualizing the issues of water and sanitation through local art forms is new and an exciting journey for Gram Vikas.", explained Joe Madiath Executive Director of Gram Vikas.


ONE DROP—an initiative of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil—is a non-governmental organization founded on October 29, 2007. With its unique arts-based approach, ONE DROP helps ensure sustainable development for communities by implementing educational projects, providing adapted solutions for access to safe water and granting microfinance loans. ONE DROP leads creative projects worldwide that seek to raise the population's awareness of water-related issues and encourage the adoption of responsible water management practices. To learn more, visit

About UTC

United Technologies, based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries. UTC's products include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Sikorsky helicopters, Carrier heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems and industrial products, Otis elevators and escalators, and UTC Fire & Security systems.

About RBC and the RBC Blue Water Project®

The RBC Blue Water Project® is a ten-year, $50 million philanthropic commitment by RBC to support organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water in Canada and around the world. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $32 million to more than 450 organizations worldwide in the form of one-off grants or subsidies spread over several years.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. RBC is Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. It is one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. RBC employs approximately 74,000 full-time and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 55 other countries. For more information, visit

For details on ONE DROP's Project India, visit

Contact Information

  • Marie-Eve Roy
    Director of Communications
    +1 514-723-7646 ext. 7029
    Cell: +1 438-402-6075

    Lauren Alcorn
    +91 8895010171