Griffith Communication and Journalismstudents recently travelled to Mumbai, India where they worked on an environmental communication project aimed at sharing water-related local stories with a global focus.

The four-week project highlighted the environmental science of sustainable water in India, as well as the social experiences of people living in Mumbai.

The students collaborated with Mumbai University and Xavier’s Institute of Communication in sharing experiences and skills in developing solutions based on long-form multimedia and housed on a digital storytelling platform – The Water Story.

“At Griffith University, we believe that education should have a practical purpose, in creating socially and environmentally responsible communities,” says Dr Kasun Ubayasiri from Griffith’s School of Languages, Humanities and Social Science.

“The whole ethos of The Water Storyis to do just that.The Water Story is aimed at teaching tomorrow’s journalist and communicators from different parts of the world, on how to work together to tell better stories and educate local communities on how to care for our precious water resources.”

India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and India’s growth will depend at least in part on how it deals with a massive water problem.

Griffith University HLSSPlacement Officer Ashil Ranpara said with its growing population and industrialisation, India has a huge stake in water security.

“Parts of India, primarily the west, are worse off. The groundwater is depleted, and rainfall is scanty. What the students found is that Mumbaikars have adjusted to limited and unequal distribution of water.

“Developing strong communication strategies is going to be vital in finding a solution to an ever-looming water crisis and this is what we are trying to do with projects like the Water Story.”

Bachelor of Arts student Kriti Gupta in Mumbai.

Bachelor of Arts student Kriti Gupta in Mumbai. Photo: Dylan Crawford

Bachelor of Arts student Kriti Gupta says being part of project was a wonderful opportunity.

“As a communications practitioner, I was able to take what I’velearned in the classroom and apply it in a practical setting.”

Final-year journalism and photography student Ari-Balle Bowness said the project helped develop his skills as a writer and communications professional with an international backdrop.

“Students have the chance to work with industry profession, while also making lifelong friends. I highly recommend this to those interested in perusing a career in media or communications.”

Fellow student Brittany Edwards agrees. “The four-week mobility tour in Mumbai was an incredible way to gain a unique experience for my degree. It gave me the opportunity to have hands-on experience, converse with locals and create memories to last a lifetime.”

The first of its kind project was funded under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) New Colombo Plan.