Cover Story...
Print this Page

Dear Reader,

Crown Prince opens WWF3, Kyoto, 16 March 2003In March 2003, there was a big conference in Japan entitled the World Water Forum. This was a sequel to the Earth Summit that took place earlier in August 2002, in Johannesburg. Kyoto was the venue of the World Water Forum, and top world leaders came to attend it. There were also many satellite meetings, one of which was on the theme Water and Cities. This meeting was held at Osaka. In Kyoto, there was a Panel Discussion, to which was invited Prof Anantaraman , a professor in management who and CEO of a multinational firm.
What follows is a digest of remarks made by Prof Anantaraman about his experience in Kyoto. This digest has been prepared by us from an interview recorded with Prof. Anantaraman for broadcast over Radio Sai. Some of you might have heard that interview.




PROF.ANANTARAMAN AT KYOTOThis panel discussion was held in Kyoto, and I went there on account of an invitation sent to me by the UN HABITAT. The Panel Discussion was being jointly organised by UN HABITAT and the Asian Development Bank or ADB. They wanted me to discuss the financial aspects of the Sri Sathya Sai Anantapur Water Project. After a lot of hesitation I finally decided to accept the invitation.

Initially I hesitated because after all, the basic strength of Anantapur water project is not financing aspect. I felt that to basically talk about only the financing of the water project was a mistake. However, there was an invitation, and I went there eventually but with a lot of trepidation.

On the first day, there was a beautiful musical ballet presentation as a part of the inaugural ceremonies. The ballet was all about water as a source coming through time and through space. The ballet was presented by the children from the Sai School in Japan. During the ballet, there were references to Truth, Peace, Right Conduct, Non violence. My ears immediately pricked up. When the ballet was over, the 1500 delegates present gave a standing ovation. I basically felt right then that may be Swami's presence is already here. This made me resolve that I should make my presentation to the panel fairly forcefully.

The panel presentation was on the next day. I was the fourth speaker in a panel of six speakers. Most of those who spoke before me, talked about Financing Models, Pay-back methods, Cost of Recovery, etc. I had prepared a Power Point presentation but after seeing the children's ballet I realised there was no point in making this presentation because financing was not the important part of Sri Sathya Sai Water Project. So in the last minute I decided not to do my Power Point presentation. Instead I began by saying that I am no expert on water, in fact, I don't even know why I am here. Therefore I am not going to make a presentation on financing to you; instead what I am going to offer you is a case study. It is not merely a case study, it is also a Love Story. It is not only a story of Love but also one of Compassion. It is the story of how one compassionate individual found it necessary to bring water to a parched land and quench the thirst of over a million people. That is what my story of Compassion and Love is all about. The moment I said that there was immediately a lot of attention and after that my presentation went on very well. Subsequently, there was a lot of interest concerning what the project was about, and what Swami was saying.

The press was immediately after me and wanted to know many things like what was this project about? Who is Sathya Sai Baba? And so on. There was also an invitation from the Osaka Students Union asking me to come and talk to them about the water project. Not merely that. A Minister from China and the whole delegation from China wanted to hear my presentation. The Minister wanted to discuss with me about this compassion that I was talking about, and about the whole project. In short, Swami's Love Story was a real hit!


Volume 01: PDS / 07 Date : DEC 01 2003