- World Water Day is celebrated to create awareness about water conservation
- The theme for World Water Day 2021 is ‘valuing water’
- PM Modi called to value water and conserve rainwater
New Delhi: On the occasion of World Water Day on Monday (March 22), Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign via video conferencing. The Jal Shakti Abhiyan is the flagship water conservation campaign under the Ministry of Jal Shakti. Under the water conservation campaign, the government launched another programme with a theme, ‘catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater, states the official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Also Read: This World Water Day, Let’s Take The Pledge To Value The Precious Resource: Five Things To Know About The Day
The campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, and will be implemented from March 22 to November 30 – the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country. It will be launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at the grass-root level through people’s participation.
After the virtual launch of the campaign, PM Modi interacted with Sarpanches (head of a village) and former Sarpanches who have done exemplary work in water management so as to learn from their experiences and implement best practices. Sharing her experience of working in the field of water management and ensuring adequate water supply in her village, Vidya Ben from Narmada District, Gujarat, said,
I am holding the position of Sarpanch since 2016 and I have seen our village face a severe water crisis, especially during summers. We had only one hand pump and everyone would have to walk to that hand pump to fetch water and stand in the queue for hours. To resolve the issue, under the ‘Nal Se Jal’ programme, 415 tap connections have been provided. We have also created a pond to collect rainwater and recharge nearby wells.
Also Read: Clean Water Is Essential To Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases, Says The World Health Organisation
Following the interaction with Sarpanches, PM Modi addressed the panel and stressed the importance of water not only in households or for agriculture, but the economy as well. He said,
Today, when we are trying for rapid development, it is not possible without water security, without effective water management. The vision of India’s development, the vision of India’s self-reliance, is dependent on our water sources and water connectivity.
PM Modi said that our forefathers have given us water resources and it is our responsibility to provide water to our future generations. Thus, we must take a pledge to save water and not waste it. We have to ensure a pious bond with water, he added.
Stressing on rainwater harvesting, PM Modi said,
The better India manages rainwater, the lesser will be the country’s dependence on groundwater. Therefore, it is important to run campaigns like ‘Catch the Rain’ and make them successful. Monsoon is still a few weeks away and now is the time to prepare for rainwater harvesting.
Also Read: WASH Warrior: Thanks To NGO Himmotthan, 1,000 Villages In Uttarakhand Have Clean Drinking Water And Sanitation Facilities
PM Modi said rainwater harvesting is no rocket science; the preparations do not require architects’ guidance, villagers are self-sufficient, all they need is a driving force.
Further talking about the success of Jal Jeevan Mission, PM Modi said,
Just one and a half years ago, out of 19 crore rural families in our country, only three and a half crore families used to get water from the tap. I am happy that after the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, about four crore new families have got tap connection in such a short time.
While signing off, PM Modi reiterated the need to conserve water and called to make Jal Shakti Abhiyan successful. He said, just like you prepare to welcome guests, prepare for the rain. He said,
Just the way it is important to save water, it is also pivotal to make judicious use of water.
Also Read: In Pictures: On World Water Day, The WASH Photo Project Showcases India’s Major Water Crisis
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.