Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched a 100-day campaign under the Jal Jeevan Mission on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on Friday to ensure safe piped water supply to schools and anganwadi centres across the country.
Speaking to reporters on the occasion, Shekhawat said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while launching the logo of Jal Jeevan Mission on September 29, called for ensuring drinking water supply in all the schools and anganwadi centres across the country. In this backdrop we are launching a 100-day campaign to ensure the same.”
“We are asking all the state governments to ensure piped drinking water in all schools and anganwadi centres in the next 100 days.
“It will be a fitting tribute to our Father of the Nation on his 151st birth anniversary,” Shekhawat said.
The Minister also wrote to the Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors requesting them to lead this 100-day campaign in their States/UTs starting October 2. The Minister appealed to them to make it a “Jan Andolan”.
“This 100-day campaign is an opportunity to bring a smile on the face of every child of the country, by ensuring their holistic development,” Shekhawat wrote in his letter.
“The campaign demands concerted efforts in the form of a time-bound campaign involving Public Health Engineering/Rural Water Supply Departments and other departments like Education, Women & Child Development, Tribal Welfare, Gram Panchayats/VWSCs/Pani Samitis, local communities, sector partners, NGOs, Self-Help Groups, etc. so as to make it a true ‘Jan Andolan’,” he said.
The Centre is working on the Jal Jeevan Mission with the objective to provide safe drinking water through household taps to all households in rural India by 2024.
Under this, the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ aims at tap water supply to households with special focus on women and children. Ensuring safe water to children is a priority under JJM as they are most susceptible to water-borne diseases like typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera, etc.
“Repeated infections due to consumption of unsafe water in their formative years may have debilitating effects, resulting in stunting. The situation is much more complex in areas where water sources are found to be contaminated with arsenic, fluoride, other heavy metals and prolonged consumption of water having these contaminants may lead to degenerating diseases resulting in serious health problems,” Shekhawat added.