Geneva: India Water Foundation highlighted the country’s commendable progress in the field of sanitation and rights to water at the 54th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday (September 18). At a side event titled “Safeguarding Human Right to Water and Sanitation in India amidst Climate Change”, the panelists deliberated on the Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation. They also commended Clean India or Swachh Bharat Mission wherein 105 Million toilets were built bringing behavioural change in almost 600 million Indians.
India’s Jal Jeevan Mission will achieve safe and affordable drinking water as well as reach rural areas of the country by the year 2024.
Arvind Kumar, CEO of India Water Foundation in an oral intervention on Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Rights to Water & Sanitation highlighted India’s progress in the field of Water & Sanitation.
He informed that since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Jal Jeevan Mission programme, 62 per cent of households in rural India have tap water connections and 40 per cent of rural households have declared themselves Open Defecation Free.
India’s Jal Jeevan Mission is constantly growing with an objective to reach out to poor and rural people in the country.
IWF has initiated the Jal Mitra Campaign with 50,000 Jal Mithras to enhance public awareness and inform about environmental issues in urban & rural areas of the country.
The event was moderated by Shweta Tyagi, Chief Founder of IWF.
The panel of Speakers were Arvind Kumar, CEO of IWF, Sonja Koeppel, Secretary of UN Water Convention & UN Economic Commission of Europe in Geneva, Karan Gardes, COO & Acting Director Stockholm International Water Institute, Rajan Ratna, Deputy Head (South & South West Asia) UNESCAP, New Delhi, Satya Tripathi, Secretary General Global Alliance for Sustainable Development & former Assistant Secretary General, UN at New York and Vishnu Ranjan Sinha, Water and Wetland International Union for Conservation Of Nature, Bangkok.
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.