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Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Launches “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” Campaign with Emphasis on Women Empowerment

New Delhi: The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, inaugurated the fifth edition of the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign on March 9, 2024, at the NDMC Convention Centre in New Delhi. Themed “Nari Shakti se Jal Shakti,” the campaign underscores the vital role of women in water conservation and management. Organized under the National Water Mission, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, and in collaboration with the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, the event witnessed the virtual launch of two books, namely “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019 to 2023- The Journey for Sustainable Water Future” and “101 glimpses of Women Power: Through the prism of Jal Jeevan Mission.”

The event commenced with the symbolic ‘Jal Kalash’ ceremony, signifying a collective commitment to future water conservation and sustainable use. The occasion included screenings of short films, documentaries, and the participation of women warriors, Sarpanchs, VWSC members, pump operators, and officials from various departments.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat stressed the critical importance of water conservation and sustainable management, highlighting the pivotal role of water in daily lives and the economy. Emphasizing the commitment to water conservation and sustainable development, the Minister acknowledged the leading role of ‘Nari Shakti’ in these efforts. He expressed confidence in empowering women to empower the nation, lauding their contributions to successful campaigns like Jal Shakti Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission, and Atal Bhujal Yojna.

Highlighting the collaborative efforts of central and state governments, Shekhawat praised citizens for turning water conservation campaigns into people’s movements. He urged all citizens to actively participate in “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” – 2024, envisioning it as a transformative movement toward a water-secure and sustainable future. The Minister cited the necessity of effective integrated water management to address the increasing water demand in the wake of India’s goal to become a global manufacturing hub.

Secretary, DoWR, RD & GR, Ms. Debashree Mukherjee, addressed the burdensome task of water collection predominantly borne by women and the significance of clean water sources in transforming communities. She commended the central and state governments’ efforts in addressing water-related challenges and highlighted the success of Jal Jeevan Mission, which achieved 75% coverage of rural households with tap water connections.

The event showcased women water warriors sharing their experiences, challenges, and successes in championing water conservation. The campaign’s focused interventions include water conservation, rainwater harvesting, inventory creation of water bodies, afforestation, and awareness generation. This year’s edition will particularly emphasize de-silting, cleaning water bodies, revitalizing abandoned borewells, geo-tagging, intensified afforestation, snow harvesting, and rejuvenation of small rivers.

“Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain-2024” will be implemented from March 9, 2024, to November 30, 2024, as part of the ongoing efforts to promote water conservation and sustainability across the nation. 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.

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