MoS Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria addresses 27th Water talk; Says, Women Water Warriors are the ‘Shakti’ In Jal Shakti Abhiyan, All Should Draw Inspiration from them
The Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria addressed the 27th Water talk organized by the National Water Mission (NWM) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The virtual sessions are conducted by the Ministry to spread awareness about water-related issues and to sensitize stakeholders on judicious use of water. The 27th edition emphasized the participation and contribution of women in the water sector. NWM in association with UNDP shortlisted 41 women warriors for their valuable contribution to this sector. Out of 41, 6 women warriors were invited to share their success stories.
Addressing the ‘Water talk’, MoS Jal Shakti hailed the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for establishing a new Ministry of Jal Shakti by merging erstwhile Departments and Ministries that were working in ‘Silos’ in the water sector. The move has provided a much-needed integrated approach to the common problems faced in the water sector. In order to translate this vision, the Ministry has started massive awareness campaigns aimed at sensitizing people about the judicious use of water and conserving each and every drop. The Ministry is leaving no stone unturned to connect with the masses and to translate the vision of the Prime minister, i.e. to make water everyone’s business.
In the last 2 years, the ministry has started flagship programs and campaigns like Jal Shakti Abhiyan-1, Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain: Where it falls when it falls for urging States to conserve rainwater, Jal Jeevan Mission with a target of providing tap water connections to each rural household by 2024, amongst others. There have been a series of awareness campaigns organized in close coordination with State Governments like Ganga Amantran yojana, Brahmaputra Amantran Yojana. A potent force of volunteers “Ganga Praharis” has also been organized to carry forward the vision of the Government. Webinars with various DMs of Districts, technocrats, students, important stakeholders, etc have been regularly conducted.
Rattan Lal Kataria further informed that traditionally, women have been facing hardships on account of water scarcity and depleting groundwater levels. On average, women and girls in India spend considerable time (up to 6 hours) performing domestic chores and collecting water constitute a major part of it. This is 40% more than women in South Africa and China (OECD data).ShriKataria reminisced childhood memories of his mother having to trudge long distances on foot to collect water. He also highlighted that inadequate access to water for sanitation purposes coupled with physical and psychological stress on account of fetching water from distance also leads to an increase in the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW)
The MoS further added that Extreme weather events like droughts have a devastating impact on the weaker sections of society as they lose out on livestock and crop yield. Food prices shoot up and it has a crippling effect on health and nutrition. Women and girl children, in particular, are the most adversely affected. It leads to stunted growth which gets passed down the generations. As per a world bank report, it was observed that women who experienced a large dry shock ( below-average rainfall ) in infancy are 29% more likely to have a child suffering from some form of anthropometric failure – that is being significantly below average size in terms of height for age, or weight for the age, etc.
The Water talk also honored the 6 women water warriors – Ms.BabitaLiroliya from village Nayapura, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh; Ms.Bhurki Bai, Village Aligarh, Udaipur; Ms.Neetaben Patel, District Dang, Gujarat; Ms. Ramandeep Kaur, Village Palia Kalan, District Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh; Ms. Renuka Kotambkar, village Kotamba, District Wardha, Maharashtra, and Ms.Vasantha, Village Sigur, District Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu.
Citing the exemplary contribution of women water warriors at the grass-root level, Rattan Lal Kataria congratulated all 41 women, warriors. He termed these women warriors as the ‘Shakti’ in the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and urged all participants to draw inspiration from them. He congratulated the National Water Mission for highlighting their success stories. He also congratulated MD NWM Shri G Ashok Kumar for making steadfast progress in popularizing Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain Campaign and for nudging State Authorities for undertaking a vast number of Rainwater Harvesting Measures.