Catch the Rain

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The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi recently launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’ campaign. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project, the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers,
India has 18 per cent of the world’s population which has access to only 4 per cent of the usable water sources. Poor management of resources and lack of Government attention has contributed as a major factor for water scarcity in India. As per NITI Aayog report released in June 2019, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis in history. Approximately 600 million people or roughly around 45 per cent of the population in India is facing high to severe water stress. The report goes on to say that nearly 40 per cent of the population will have absolutely no access to drinking water by 2030 and 6 per cent of India’s GDP will be lost by 2050 due to the water crisis.
One agrees with Modi’s view about his matter of concern that majority of rain water in India gets wasted and the more the rain water is conserved, the less will be the dependence on groundwater. Water is the basic necessity of every human being, but water scarcity is a major issue that is rising rapidly in India nowadays. The problem has become so severe that in many states the groundwater has almost dried up and people have to depend on water supply from other sources.NITI Aayog has also warned the country about the seriousness of the water crisis. According to the NITI Aayog, the water crisis has taken a formidable form in many cities of the country. Water will be on the verge of running out by 2030 and the people of Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad will have to face this difficulty the most.
The ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas and it will be implemented from March 22 to November 30 – the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in country. The campaign aims to take water conservation at grass-root level through people’s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
PM Modi has noted that the challenge of the water crisis is increasing equally with India’s development. He has rightly said that it is the responsibility of the present generation of the country to fulfill its responsibility for the generations to come. Everyone is aware of the fact that water is the most valuable natural resource as it is essential for human survival and life on earth. However, the availability of freshwater for human consumption is highly under stress because of a variety of factors. This crisis of water scarcity is most visible in India as well as in other developing countries. Around 80 per cent of India’s water is severely polluted because people dump raw sewage, silt and garbage into the country’s rivers and lakes. This has led to water being undrinkable and the population having to rely on illegal and expensive sources. Official estimates indicate that around 3,00,000 farmers have committed suicide over the past 30 years. The ‘Jal Shapath’ which is being organised all over the country should become everybody’s pledge and second nature. The formation of the Jal Shakti ministry is, indeed, a promising step in the right direction. The importance of water for human existence is clear from this saying ‘Water is life’. Water is one of the most important resources of nature. Today many countries of the world, including India, are standing at the mouth of water crisis.
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit