- Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was speaking at UNGA
- Mr Shekhawat called to make water available to the most vulnerable
- Mr Shekhawat stressed on long term solutions for sustainable use of water
New York: India on Thursday (March 18) stressed the need for building resilient systems that can provide long-term solutions for the sustainable use of water. Speaking at a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said: “There is no doubt that in our journey to achieve the 2030 agenda, water supply and sanitation have to be the centre of our global efforts. We need to make water available to the most vulnerable. At the same time, we need to build resilient systems that provide long term solutions for sustainable use of water.”
The minister said that India has been implementing a time-bound strategy to achieve Sustainable Development Goal-6, keeping in mind that by 2030, water demand will outpace water availability by two times. He also mentioned that a new Ministry of Water Conservation and Management was established in 2019 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address water-related issues.
The Clean India Mission, which was launched in 2014, to achieve universal sanitation became the world’s biggest sanitation campaign with the construction of 110 million toilets in only six years resulting in an open defecation free India. Recently, we have launched the “Water is Life Mission” (Jal Jeevan), a USD 50 billion project to provide safe and piped drinking water to all households by 2024, he said.
Mr Shekhawat also said that the Clean India campaign successfully affected a positive behavioural transformation by urging people to adopt better sanitation and hygiene standards, while also noting women’s role in the management of water and sanitation facilities. He also recited a quote by BR Ambedkar: “Water being the wealth of the people and its distribution being uncertain, the correct approach is not to complain against nature but to conserve water.”
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.