Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Sadhguru advocate people’s participation in Jal Shakti Abhiyan

New Delhi: The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inaugurated the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) national review and workshop here today. The workshop also included a special interaction with Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation. The daylong workshop began with a session by the Minister and Sadhguru in the morning, and was then followed by a review chaired by the Cabinet Secretary in the afternoon. In attendance were senior officials from the Government of India who have been implementing the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in the most water stressed districts across the country along with district administrations.

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) is managed by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, in collaboration with key Departments of the central government working in the water conservation sector, along with state governments, for an integrated approach to accelerate the programmatic implementation of water conservation interventions. The campaign has since delivered a significant increase in water conservation awareness, related infrastructure and even certain outcomes of groundwater replenishing across 256 water stressed districts, as recorded by line departments and the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister.

In the morning session, Sadhguru shared the scalable initiatives for water conservation being undertaken by the Isha Foundation and spoke of experiences with regard to the people’s movement the campaigns have witnessed in recent years. He highlighted the need for a sustainable approach towards nation building and the need to identify ways to conserve water at the local level.

During the interaction, Shri Shekhawat congratulated all the officials for working with full commitment as Jal Yodhhas or Water Warriors under JSA to bring about a visible change on the ground with significant outcomes already being recorded. He referred to the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech on 15th August 2019 with regard to water resource management, which has evoked the jan andolan to conserve water and ensure its effective usage across the country.

As part of the Cabinet Secretary’s review in the afternoon, the Cabinet Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba lauded the efforts and commitment of the officers in making JSA a people’s movement and urged them to continue the momentum with the same spirit and commitment. The Cabinet Secretary also released a “Report on Jal Shakti Abhiyan- Outcomes and Learning” during the review.

Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, DDWS, elaborated on the massive transformation and awareness generation on water conservation achieved under JSA campaign and shared the progress update under the five key interventions of the programme: (1) water conservation and rainwater harvesting; (2) renovation of tradition water bodies/tanks; (3) reuse and borewell recharge structures; (4) watershed development; and (5) intensive afforestation.

The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, Prof. K Vijay Raghavan highlighted the key outcomes and scientific tools used during the campaign, including satellite-based mapping and analysis, survey tools, and mobile Applications (Bhuvan-ISRO) for tracking the activities undertaken for increasing groundwater levels.

A short film on the spirit of the JSA and showcasing achievements of the Abhiyan implemented at the grassroots level was screened on the occasion.

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