The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, felicitated the winners of the 3rd National Water Awards instituted by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti and launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign 2022 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Here are the key takeaways from his address:
Catch the Rain Campaign – Water is Life
The President emphasized that water is life and that nature has provided us with water resources like rivers, which we must protect. He added that traditional water conservation structures are vanishing due to urbanization, and the challenge of water management is being talked about scientifically today.
Water security is important
The President highlighted the importance of achieving water security, stating that India traditionally reveres its rivers, and that we all recognize the importance of water for lives, livelihoods, and development. Water scarcity, floods, and droughts have the greatest impact on the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable.
India’s water resources are finite
According to the President, the availability of water resources is finite and dependent on the rains. Climate change, which is manifesting itself in the form of changes in the water cycle, also threatens our water security. India is home to about 18% of the world’s population but has just 4% of the world’s fresh water resources. In this backdrop, the President added that all of us will have to be alert and ready.
Catch the Rain Campaign – Actions taken by the Ministry of Jal Shakti
The Ministry of Jal Shakti has taken several actions to mitigate climate change, including river rejuvenation, giving priority to water security, completing irrigation projects, and rehabilitating dams, among others. Jal Shakti Abhiyan and Jal Jeevan Mission were launched in 2019 to transform Jal Andolan into a Jan Andolan.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan Catch the Rain 2022
The President launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain 2022 for the period 29 March, 2022, to 30 November, 2022. He noted that spring shed development, protection of water catchment areas, and gender mainstreaming in the water sector are some of the new features added to the campaign. The President expects that state governments will take up the campaign with zeal and enthusiasm, which will go a long way in tackling the problem of water scarcity in the country.
National Water Awards
The President congratulated the Ministry of Jal Shakti for organizing the National Water Awards, which is the most opportune and timely initiative to create a mass movement for effective water management. He expressed his delight at the Ministry of Jal Shakti giving awards to states, organizations, and individuals in 11 different categories. The President believes that these Awards will usher-in a water consciousness in the minds of people of India and will help in bringing a behavioral change.
The President concluded by congratulating all who have taken part in these initiatives once again and thanked the winners for their exemplary work in the field of water management. He hopes that these initiatives will motivate others to contribute to water conservation and management, which is essential for a sustainable future.
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