Half a million women and children die each year from inhaling smoke in their kitchen. The hand that feeds is choked by the hands that cook. Getting people together at different levels of government, civil society and opinion makers will be needed to make people deal with the smoke in the kitchen as a real and immediate threat. Torque works closely with global foundations and state and district administration to give the wherewithal to reach out and change the way people breath.
On the other hand, hardworking policemen in Mumbai need to care about their health. The elderly in an Old Age home are delighted when Japanese ladies come to sing for them.
Japanese students leave Indian children spellbound with a performance of traditional Japanese drum. In different places across the country, Japanese women have been learning about Indian food, jewelry, festivals and yoga.Eye check up camps keep children living in slums clear visioned. People run for marathons to support a healthier way of life.
Taking heart check ups outside the big metros involves getting involved with people’s concerns at community and personal levels. All of them add up to be compelling human stories.
And in each such story, Torque conceives and creates opportunities that brings people together to learn, share and hold conversations. Communication is essentially about building communities of engaged people. And Torque goes the length in helping create sustainable formats of engagement.
INDIA JAPAN INITIATIVE
The India Japan Initiative is an organization that aims at building enduring associations between the peoples, governments, businesses and cultures of India and Japan. As a non-profit organization, IJI will strives to create and nurture stronger ties between India and Japan through exchanges of views, interests and learnings at various levels.
While there are efforts being made by industry bodies, government and diplomatic channels to address these issues, IJI believes a deeper appreciation of each other’s history, culture and current affairs is imperative to carry the relationship forward into the area of economic and geo-political closeness. The process must be all–encompassing, providing an enabling environment for the people of the two countries to interact closely, leading to higher levels of comfort.
Under the guidance of the Charter Members, whose expertise, interest and desire to build lasting relationships with the Japanese will be a valuable contribution to the relations that IJI aims to strengthen, IJI undertakes multi-dimensional activities at four basic levels to achieve its goals: People-to-People; Culture-to-Culture and Business-to-Business.
Torque Communications is the operational arm of IJI. Over the past seven years, we have worked across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, putting together experiences which share culture. We have reached out to schools and women’s associations, old age homes and colleges to create enchanting moments of cultural appreciation. Japanese women in India have learnt to dance to Bollywood beats, stretch to yoga and create delicious Indian dishes. Indian girls and women have learnt about the Japanese tea ceremony and the art of Origami and wearing the Kimono.
KILLER IN THE KITCHEN
Shell Foundation has been running The Room to Breathe IAP-Awareness Campaign in the Shimoga District of Karnataka since October 2009. This campaign has been in development since October 2008
The Campaign has been developed to run on three levels: Local, National and Global. On the Local level, it promotes Improved Cook Stoves (ICS) to IAP-affected households in Karnataka. At the state level, it works with government authorities to support grass root efforts. On the National level the campaign aims to lobby with key health and environment opinion-leaders with the aim of pushing IAP up the agenda, in turn leading to a measurable increase in resources – both financial and other – applied to tackling IAP from the Indian government.
The Chief Minister of Karnataka enthusisatically endorsed the campaign, which was the key factor to the campaign’s success. Activities in Shimoga include van campaigns, touring every village and town with a population of 2000 upwards (110 in total) and conducting extensive awareness-raising activities, focused around demonstrating ICS. Shell Foundation has also joined hands with health workers and Anganwadi workers to spread awareness about the dangers of IAP.
Torque Communications has been an enabling partner that has engaged the government and media at various levels to create a matrix of support. Working with taluk, district and state level authorities, Torque has mobilized almost one hundred workers in each Taluk to support the IAP campaign and promote the usage of improved cook stoves.