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National Water Mission Launches 'Catch the Rain - 2024' Campaign, Emphasizes Women's Role in Water Conservation

The National Water Mission launched the 'Catch the Rain – 2024' campaign, emphasizing women's roles and community collaboration for nationwide water conservation.

Shivam Dwivedi
National Water Mission Launches 'Catch the Rain - 2024' Campaign, Emphasizes Women's Role in Water Conservation (Image Source: @CRPaatil/X)
National Water Mission Launches 'Catch the Rain - 2024' Campaign, Emphasizes Women's Role in Water Conservation (Image Source: @CRPaatil/X)

The National Water Mission (NWM) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti organized a comprehensive workshop-cum-orientation program for Central Nodal Officers (CNOs) and Technical Officers (TOs) to spearhead the 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain- 2024' (JSA: CTR 2024) campaign. The event, held in New Delhi, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, C.R. Paatil, and Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Dr. Raj Bhushan Choudhury, highlighting the government’s dedication to tackling water conservation issues.

A Central Team consisting of CNO and TO will undertake two visits to the allotted districts. The workshop highlighted the roles and responsibilities of the visiting officials to the districts. The JSA: CTR-2024 campaign is being implemented from 09.03.2024 to 30.11.2024 in all the districts (rural as well as urban areas) of the country with the theme ‘Nari Shakti se Jal Shakti’ to underscore the pivotal role of women in water conservation.

Emphasizing Community and Government Synergy

Union Minister C.R. Paatil lauded the Ministry of Jal Shakti's efforts and underscored the importance of scaling up actions to meet the cumulative water demand. Citing the Surat Municipal Corporation as an exemplary model, he noted its success in providing treated water to industries at cost-effective rates and its sustainable afforestation efforts. Paatil called for greater involvement of NGOs, particularly in rural areas, to support the Ministry’s water conservation initiatives. He encouraged public participation, inviting citizens to engage with the Ministry via social media and other communication channels for water-related concerns and suggestions.

A Collaborative Government Approach

Secretary Vini Mahajan of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation emphasized the ‘Whole of the Government’ approach, advocating for collaboration between partner ministries, state agencies, urban authorities, and rural organizations to enhance rainwater harvesting structures. She reiterated that rainwater is a vital source, and proactive measures are needed to ensure maximum rainwater capture.

Addressing Water Security Challenges

Debashree Mukherjee, Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, highlighted the adverse effects of the year’s prolonged heatwave on water security. She pointed out that the JSA: CTR 2024 campaign could mitigate these challenges by enhancing water storage through desilting water bodies, maintaining rainwater harvesting structures, and ensuring district authorities' active participation.

Mukherjee called for a united front involving local civil society organizations and district authorities, and she stressed the importance of utilizing local media for campaign awareness. She also mentioned the need for geotagging water bodies and integrating rainwater harvesting structures in public institutions like Anganwadis and schools.

Insightful Presentations and Best Practices

The event featured several informative presentations, including:

  • The District Waterbody Atlas by the National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC), crucial for water conservation.

  • Springshed Management by the National Institute of Hydrology, focusing on preserving spring ecosystems.

  • Rainwater Storage and Recharge Structures by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), highlighting practical rainwater harvesting solutions.

  • Jal Jeevan Mission by its Mission Director, detailing water supply initiatives.

  • Experience sharing by Pramod Kumar, Director of Pensioners’ Welfare, provided valuable insights from previous JSA: CTR campaigns.

As the JSA: CTR 2024 campaign gears up, the workshop has set a strong foundation for concerted efforts in water conservation across the country. The focus on women's roles, community involvement, and government collaboration aims to ensure a water-secure future for India.

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