The President of India Droupadi Murmu has conferred 36 women champions of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) with ‘Swachh Sujal Shakti Samman 2023’.
The 36 women were conferred with ‘Swachh Sujal Shakti Samman 2023’ at Vigyan Bhavan on March 4.
Speaking on the occasion, Murmu said that women are at the forefront of all the 3 missions of the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
''We recognize the efforts of women in the Self-Help Groups and community-based organizations who have played a vital role in spreading awareness about the importance of water conservation, water management, and sanitation. Their hard work and determination have been instrumental in the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission, and Jal Shakti Abhiyan,'' she added.
She further added that it’s the women leadership in the SBM(G) and JJM programs, that has brought piped water supply to more than 11 crore households and in achieving more than 2 lakh ODF Plus villages.
Highlighting the overall benefits of the flagship missions, Murmu said, “Nobel laureate Michael Kremer, in his study has reported that 1.36 lakh lives of children under five years of age are saved in rural India by providing safe and adequate drinking water through tap connections and having safe sanitation practices”.
Applauding the women champions, she said that we all have seen how Babita Gupta of Bihar was awarded today for converting plastic waste into decorative products, Salila Jena of Odisha for solid and liquid waste management, Munni Devi of Jharkhand for providing tap water to homes, and Neelam Singh is playing an important role in making the village ODF plus through community cooperation.
“These women make my belief stronger that with their dedication and hard work, India will present an example to the world in water management and sanitation,” she said.
The president urged awardees present here that when they go back to their villages, they should tell people about the work being done in the field of cleanliness and water conservation across the country, inspire them to follow environmentally friendly practices.
''I am sure that today's award will inspire you to work with more dedication and seeing you, other people will also learn and contribute to cleanliness, water, and environment protection,” she said.
The event also saw the launch of Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain 2023 and the release of NWM’s SoP on ‘Sustainability of Groundwater Sources’ by Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti Sh. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
On this occasion, the Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also presented President with the first copy of the ‘Swachh Sujal Shakti Ki Abhivyakti’ - a compendium of case stories from SBM (G), JJM, and NWM. A customized ‘My Stamp’ for NWM was launched by the Minister of State for Communications Sh. Devusinh Jesingbhai Chauhan, who also presented the first copy to Hon’ble President.
DDWS is implementing two flagship programmes of the central government i.e. Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). SBM-G was started on 2nd October 2014 with the objective to stop Open Defecation. All villages in the country were declared the ODF on 02nd October 2019. Thereafter, SBM-G 2.0 was launched in April 2020 to sustain the ODF status of the villages and to improve the level of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management, thereby making the villages ODF Plus. As of date, more than 2 lakh villages in the country have been declared ODF Plus.
While addressing the august gathering Shekhawat congratulated the awardees and thanked each woman who had been part of water and sanitation efforts in the country.
“Jal Shakti Abhiyan was launched in 2019, inspired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's mantra of water harvesting. I am proud to inform you that during JSA: CTR 2021, more than 46 lakh water conservation and water harvesting works have been done in urban and rural areas. More than 36 crore saplings have been planted. More than 43 thousand training campaigns and agricultural fairs have been organized,'' he added.
Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, highlighted that “Be it Rani Mistri, Jeevika didi, Swachhagrahi, ASHA didi, Anganwadi didi, Jal Sahiya, Kishori samiti didi and enumerable other roles, it’s the women who with their leadership and dedication have played such an important role in the success of all the development schemes and programs of the country”.
Today, more than 1,100 Jal Sahelis are working in the field of water conservation in 7 districts of the country. Inspired by the works of Jal Sahelis, now other women across the country are also making efforts for water conservation.
36 awards were conferred under SBM-G, JJM, and NWM by the Hon’ble President of India and Union Minister of Jal Shakti under the following categories:
1. Swachh Bharat Mission - Grameen (SBM - G)
a. Making the village ODF Plus Model
b. GOBARdhan/Bio-degradable Waste and/or Plastic Waste Management
c. Greywater Management and/or Faecal Sludge Management
2. Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)
a. Women change-makers in the category of O&M of piped water supply
3. National Water Mission (NWM)
a. Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain
b. Water Warriors
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