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Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan : Catch the Rain 2024 Campaign

  • Union Minister Urges Active Participation in Catch the Rain Campaign to Empower Women & Ensure a Water-Secure Future
  • It is our firm belief that empowering women will empower the Nation: Shri Shekhawat 

New Delhi :- The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the fifth edition of “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign on 9th March, 2024, at the NDMC Convention Centre in New Delhi. The campaign, themed “Nari Shakti se Jal Shakti,” emphasises the integral role of women in water conservation and management. The campaign comes under the National Water Mission, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in collaboration with Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation. The Union Minister also virtually launched two books namely “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019 to 2023- The Journey for Sustainable Water Future” and “101 glimpse of Women Power: Through the prism of Jal Jeevan Mission”.

The event began with the auspicious ‘Jal Kalash’ ceremony which signified collective commitment towards water conservation and its sustainable use in the future. Two short films “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019 to 2023 – A public led movement marching towards Water Security” and (ii) “Short films of Jal Jeevan Mission” and documentary of Ladakh were also screened during the event which witnessed participation of women warriors, Sarpanchs, VWSC members, pump operators from the State Governments, Senior Officials of Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Officials of State Governments, Officials of partner Ministries/ Departments of Ministry of Jal Shakti, Press/ Media persons etc.

Addressing the august gathering, Union Minister, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat emphasized the critical importance of water conservation & sustainable management and highlighted the imperative role of water in our lives and economy. The Union Minister said that JSA:CTR – 2024 is a testament to the Government’s unwavering commitment towards water conservation and sustainable development, with ‘Nari Shakti’ playing a leading role in these efforts. He said it is our firm belief that empowering women will empower the Nation. The Minister said that women participating in this event represents women of the country, who are taking responsibility on their shoulders to fulfill the vision of our Prime Minister to make our country a developed Nation. He praised the commendable efforts of women that have contributed to the success of Schemes/ Campaigns like Jal Shakti Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission and Atal Bhujal Yojna. He also emphasized that women, through collective efforts, have effectively conserved water resources. He added that women possess the ability to adapt and innovate, showcasing their power and ability to bring positive change in water resource management. He also lauded the Prime Minister for translating his vision where we have transitioned from ‘Fragile Five’ to ‘Top 5’ economies.” He pointed out that under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our goal is to make India a global manufacturing hub which will result in increase in economic activities in the country, subsequently raising our water demand which shall be tackled by effective integrated water management. India’s water demand relies heavily on groundwater and rainfall. He stated that approximately 24 lakh women have been trained for testing water samples using Field Testing Kit (FTK) to ensure quality of piped water supply. The Minister mentioned that the Atal Bhujal Yojna ensures representation of at least 33% woman members in the Gram Panchayat for the preparation of water budget and water security plans. The Minister acknowledged the collaborative efforts of central and state governments. He appreciated the active participation of citizens in previous campaigns, turning this campaign into people’s movements for water conservation. Shri Shekhawat called upon all citizens to actively participate in “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” – 2024. He envisioned it as a transformative movement towards a water-secure and sustainable future.

Secretary, DoWR, RD & GR, Ms. Debashree Mukherjee highlighted the burdensome task of water collection predominantly borne by women and the significance of clean water sources in transforming communities. She acknowledged the commitment and dedication of all stakeholders involved in the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and applauded the central and state governments’ efforts in addressing water-related challenges. She underlined the success of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) launched by Govt. of India in July 2019 and its positive impact for the welfare of the society across the rural parts of the country. She also highlighted the recent achievement of Mission i.e. 75% coverage of rural households with the provision of tap water connection. She further urged for people’s participation in rain water conservation, ground water recharge, clean rivers, etc. for ensuring long term suitability of piped water supply schemes. Ms. Mukherjee called for collaborative efforts towards a future where every citizen has access to clean and sustainable water sources.

The event featured women water warriors from diverse backgrounds who shared their experiences, challenges and successes in championing water conservation efforts. Their stories will serve as a source of inspiration, shedding light on the transformative impact women have in nurturing sustainable water practices.

Focused interventions of the campaign includes (1) water conservation and rainwater harvesting, (2) enumerating, geo-tagging & making inventory of all water bodies; preparation of scientific plans for water conservation, (3) Setting up of Jal Shakti Kendras in all districts, (4) intensive afforestation and (5) awareness generation.
Apart from the these interventions, JSA: CTR 2024 will have a distinctive emphasis on following key aspects this year (i) de-silting and cleaning of water bodies, (ii) Revitalizing Abandoned/Defunct Borewells for groundwater recharge, (iii) Geo-tagging of water bodies, coupled with meticulous mapping and regular updates in the State’s revenue records, (iv) Intensified afforestation efforts in the catchment areas of water bodies, (v) Snow harvesting in hilly areas like stupas in Ladakh for conserving water and (vi) Rejuvenation of Small Rivers.

Inspired by the Prime Minister’s mantra of Jal Sanchay, the Ministry of Jal Shakti launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan in 2019 as a “Jan Andolan” to initiate water conservation at the grass-root level through citizen participation to accelerate water conservation across the country. JSA could not be implemented in 2020 due to restrictions imposed by Covid 19 pandemic and Ministry of Jal Shakti implemented ‘Catch the Rain’ (CTR) campaign. Ever since it was launched as “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch The Rain” Campaign in 2021, it has become an annual feature covering all the blocks of all districts (rural as well as urban areas) across the country . “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain-2024” is the fifth addition in the JSA:CTR series which will be implemented from 9th March, 2024 to 30th November, 2024. The event concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.