As India celebrates its 74th Republic Day, over 11 crore rural households of the country have access to tap water connections, said a press release by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti on Wednesday.
123 districts and more than 1.53 lakh villages of India have reported 'Har Ghar Jal' which means every household has access to clean drinking water through the tap, added the press release.
Despite several disruptions in previous years, States/ UTs have worked relentlessly to ensure tap water in every rural home. Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, to provide every rural household with a tap water connection by 2024.
At the time of the launch of the Mission in 2019, out of 19.35 Crore rural households, only 3.23 Crore (16.72 per cent) had access to tap water. As of date, within a short span of about three years of the life-changing mission, over 11 Crore (56.84 per cent) of rural households have a tap water supply in their homes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the achievement of 11 Crore Tap water connections under Jal Jeevan Mission. Modi also congratulated all those who have benefitted from this initiative and complimented those working on the ground to make this Mission a success.
The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, tweeting about the achievement said "The vision of our PM Sh. Narendra Modiji, the relentless pursuit of the goals set out for JalJeevanMission by the ministry and the effort of our team on ground has made this mega milestone possible". The Union Minister further said "11 crore homes are now assured of health and well-being with this elixir of life reaching their doorsteps".
Regular tap water supply relieves people, especially women and young girls, from carrying heavy bucket loads of water to meet their daily household needs thereby reducing age-old drudgery. The time saved from collecting water is used for income generation activities, learning new skills and supporting children's education. In those villages where the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) has reached, adolescent girls no longer drop out of school to help their mothers walk long distances and get water to quench their thirst. It goes a long way in empowering and educating the girl child.
With a focus on the health and well-being of children, in 2020 on Gandhi Jayanti, a campaign was launched to provide tap water connection to all schools, Anganwadi centres and ashramshalas (tribal residential schools) for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, hand washing and use in toilets.
As of date, tap water supply has been provided in 8.84 lakh (85.79 per cent) schools and 9.14 lakh (81.75 per cent) Anganwadi centres.2 States (Goa and Kerala) and 3 UTs (A&N Islands, D&NH and D&D, Puducherry)are now providing 100% tap water connectivity in their schools and Anganwadi centres and16 States/ UTsare in the range of 90 per cent or more and moving fast to achieve saturation.
Following the bottom-up approach, JJM is being implemented as a decentralized, demand-driven community-managed programme with the aim to provide all rural households with adequate quantity (55 lpcd) of water of prescribed quality in adequate pressure, on a regular and long-term basis.
So far over 5.20 lakh PaniSamitis/ Village Water and Sanitation Committees(VWSC) formed under Jal Jeevan Mission to manage, operate and maintain in-village water supply infrastructure. On the front of Water Quality, more than 17 lakh women are trained for testing water samples using Field Test Kits (FTKs), which has led to the empowerment of women in rural areas. (ANI)