by Tale Weavers &
The Red Elephant Foundation
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable TALE
Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development, weavers
adopted by world leaders in September
2015 at an historic UN Summit, weaving tales, breaking stereotypes
officially came into force.
Over the next fifteen years, with these
new Goals that universally apply to all,
countries will mobilize efforts to end all
forms of poverty, fight inequalities and
tackle climate change, while ensuring
that no one is left behind.
Stories for Awareness is a collaboration
between The Red Elephant Foundation
and Tale Weavers to engage with
children and build awareness around the
17 Sustainable Development Goals.
This story throws light on SDG 6:
Clean Water and Sanitation
The illustrations for this story have Story: Kirthi
been done using the “Warli” art style. Jayakumar
The Warlis or Varlis are an indigenous Illustrations: Renuka
tribe or Adivasis, living in mountainous Viswanathan
as well as coastal areas of the states of
Maharashtra-Gujarat border, in India.
The Warli people are famous for their
beautiful and unique style of painting
which reflects the close association
between human communities and
Fresh water flowed from the tap. Deborah was busy
reading a book, when she heard the sound of water
“Sanya! Did you forget to close the tap again?” she
sighed, and ran indoors to close the tap. Sanya was busy
watching television, so Deborah walked up to her and
switched off the television.
“Sanya, come. We have to do something very
important.” Sanya quickly got ready, and Deborah took
her on a walk. “Where are we going, Deborah?” Sanya
asked her older sister, curiously.
“You’ll see in just a minute, now come along!” Sanya
looked around and noticed that Deborah was taking her
to a part of her neighbourhood that she had never seen
She noticed that the road was dotted with thatched-
roof huts, and several women stood in a queue. Some
had pots in hand, some had buckets, and some had both,
pots and buckets all around them. Deborah stopped, and
Sanya stood beside her.
At the other end of the road, Sanya saw a water
lorry emptying water into their pots, one at a time.
She watched quietly as some of the women were not
allowed to fill more than three pots or buckets. She
saw the women struggle under the weight of the water,
as they carried it back to their huts, without spilling a
“Deborah, what are they doing? Why are they
carrying water home like this?”
“Well, Sanya, they don’t have the luxury of constant
water supply like some of us do.
It’s a very difficult reality, but many families around the
world live with very, very little clean water!”
Sanya’s eyes widened as she thought about how she had
never thought about how she wasted water. Just then,
Deborah began walking. Sanya followed her.
Deborah helped one of the women in the front of the
queue, picking up a pot, and carrying it as she walked
Sanya decided to help out, too, so she asked the lady if
she could carry one.
The lady smiled and let Sanya carry the smallest
bucket, and the three of them went to the lady’s house.
When Sanya went in, she noticed that the lady had
nothing more than these three utensils of water.
Inside her house, Sanya noticed that there were five
children playing, and two aged people sitting in the
corner. She couldn’t help but wonder how they were
able to manage without much water.
The lady thanked Sanya and Deborah. The two of
them decided to help a few more women carry water to
On the way back, Sanya’s mind was brimming with
“Deborah, is this something that happens only here?
Why don’t these people get water like us?”
“No, Sanya, they are not the only ones. Did you know
that as many as 63 million Nigerians don’t have no
access to water?
In some parts of India, men marry many times so that
he has as many women to bring enough water home for
their family - and these women are called water wives.
And things get worse when people are in war zones -
like in Syria - they don’t get clean water.”
“Deborah, this is a very unfair thing, don’t you think,
that some of us have water, and some of us don’t?”
“Yes it is, Sanya. So we should be responsible about
the water we get, and about how we use it. Can you
think of ways in which you can do that?”
“Hmm… I suppose I can make sure to close the taps,
and we can water our plants with a bucket and mug
instead of a hose.
We could also do that thing we read about in the news,
“Rainwater harvesting! Good work, Sanya, that you
remembered that! That is certainly something we can
Perhaps we can talk to Papa and ask one of his
industrialist friends to help the people in our area with
water supply, too, right?
But the greater part we can all play in this is to tell as
many people as possible to use water wisely, and to
make access easy for those who don’t have water.”
“Yes, Deborah! Of course! I will start right away!”
Tale Weavers is an initiative that
aims to engage with children and the
youth through stories that challenge
stereotypes and break the barriers in
creating a just society.
We welcome you to our world of stories
where simple conversations, colorful
illustrations, and powerful characters
help break the stereotypes and create
an inclusive learning space which is
free of bias - be it gender, religion, race,
nationality or ethnicity.
The Red Elephant Foundation is an
initiative that is built on the foundations
of story-telling, civilian peacebuilding
and activism for sensitisation on
all drivers of peace - gender, race,
nationality, colour and orientation.
The initiative is titled “Red Elephant”
to stand out as a vehicle that projects
stories that must never be forgotten:
stories that show you such courage that
you should never forget, and stories that
show the world such profound lessons
that the world should never forget. In
doing so, the initiative aims at creating
awareness and opening up channels
of communication towards creating
societies of tolerance, peacebuilding