Neerundu Nilamundu : Mission Possible - A Film By Bala Kailasam

In 2003, a major change initiative was launched within the Tamil Nadu Water Supplies and Drainage Board (TWAD) in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

In the context of a severe water crisis, caused by a continuous period of drought and failed monsoons, and with the looming threat of restructuring of the public sector utility due to pressure from the international lending institutions, the department embarked on a major programme to change the way it functioned. This included an intense and critical re-examination by the water engineers about their functioning, the way they related to citizens and civil society regarding the management of water, the limitations of the technocratic approach to solving issues of citizen involvement, participation in decision making and so on.

Over a period of 3 years, over 550 water engineers and professionals went through the intensive core change workshops, each of 5 days’ duration. What followed was nothing short of miraculous.

The film captures the experiences and revelations of these engineers, and showcases inspiring stories of individual transformation leading to institutional change. The film explores the transformation from the point of view of an engineer from the Agricultural Engineering Department (AED) undergoing training by a couple of TWAD engineers, who share their experience with unbelievable passion.