H. Subramaniam
September 2, 2016

For the first time in our history of 16 years, EverythingAboutWater instituted a set of awards for water professionals in August this year. We felt that the time was finally right to appreciate, recognize and celebrate some of the leading stars of the water universe.

Let me start with a provocative comment. In the water sector, we have become used to mediocrity. Even after 59 years of independence, we are unable to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to many of our countrymen. The water in our taps is not fit for drinking. Our cities are stuck with decaying infrastructure and an unaccounted-for-water levels of nearly 50 percent. Our rivers and lakes are some of the most polluted in the world and we have become a water stressed nation. As water professionals, we have a lot to answer for.

Equally, water professionals in maintenance and environment functions of industries and utilities have become used to a world of monotony. They are faceless names in the organizational hierarchy, unrecognized and unrewarded. Even more shamefully, some set of awards have crept in the Indian water sector which were getting "sold". Commercial awards which were bid by companies and individuals, and given to whoever could afford them. It is difficult to think of something more shameful and reprehensible for a water professional.

Yet, in this gloomy scenario, some great and admirable work is taking place. Leaders are doing high quality work and creating world-class organizations. These islands of excellence need to be applauded. These role models must set example for the next generation of the water industry. It is with this outlook, that we are happy to announce the EverythingAboutWater Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame recognizes a consistent and exceptional body of work, built over a lifetime of effort. It appreciates the social and sectoral impact made by these individuals in accomplishing certain laudable goals. And finally, it celebrates the leadership of distinguished men who have brought respect to the entire water community.

Following a rigorous process, based on the above criteria, we are happy to induct the first 14 leaders into the EverythingAboutWater Hall of Fame. These individuals are stalwarts in industry, government, consulting and academic field. Their name is synonymous to quality and excellence. This is a lifetime achievement award, and these individuals add unquestionable repute. They inspire all of us to learn from their efforts and to excel in whatever we do.

This is only the beginning. There are many other men and women doing yeomen service in the water community. We hope to add to the initial list, and create a Hall of Fame, that is built on pillars of integrity and endeavor. This combined group has a lot of strength and influence. They should be able to influence policy and planning, and be able to raise the profile of the water sector.

The water community will no longer have to live with faceless names. The Hall of Fame has given the identity and respect needed to show to everyone, that the water sector is second to none. This gathering should motivate everyone to work to our potential, scale new heights and achieve excellence. That is why all of us should stand up and celebrate this HALL OF FAME.

H Subramaniam H. Subramaniam is Editor, EverythingAboutWater magazine. He can be reached at subrah@eawater.com.

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