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PM’s message for women: Soon, you won’t have to travel for water

“Today, every household in about 1.25 lakh villages in about 80 districts of the country is getting water from tap. The work that was done in the last 7 decades, today’s India has done more work than that in just 2 years.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 3, 2021 8:37:20 am
PM Narendra Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary, at Rajghat in New Delhi, Saturday. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

Observing that each household in 1.25 lakh villages across 80 districts is now getting tap water, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the day is not far when no woman in the country will have to walk long distances every day to fetch water.

Addressing a gathering through video conference on the occasion of the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission App and Rashtriya Jal Jeevan Kosh, the Prime Minister said, “Since Independence to 2019, only 3 crore households in the country had access to tap water. However, Since the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, 5 crore households have been connected to tap water connections.”

“Today, every household in about 1.25 lakh villages in about 80 districts of the country is getting water from tap. The work that was done in the last 7 decades, today’s India has done more work than that in just 2 years.”

Explained

Focus on women as a constituency

From toilets in every home and school, to affordable sanitary pads and nutrition support during pregnancy and immunisation, the government has taken many steps to strengthen what the Prime Minister called ‘Matra Shakti’. Most of the 2.5 crore houses built in villages are in the name of women, Ujjwala has relieved women of smoke-filled life, women are being integrated with Atmanirbharta mission through self-help groups, and these groups have increased three fold in the last seven years, the PM reminded his audience, comprising primarily people from states bound for the elections next year.

“Wo din door nahin jab desh ki kisi bhi behen-beti ko paani laane ke liye roz roz door door tak paidal chal kar nahin jaana hoga. Wo apne samay ka sadupyog apni behataree, apni padhai-likhai, ya apne rojgaar par usko shuroo karne mein kar paengi (The day is not far when no woman in the country will have to walk long distances every day to fetch water. They will be able to utilise their time for their betterment, education or employment),” Modi said.

“Empowerment of women in villages is one of the top priorities of our government,” the Prime Minister said, mentioning schemes, including the free-LPG connection Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, initiated by his government for women development.

Measures like toilets in every home and school, affordable sanitary pads, nutrition support during pregnancy and immunisation have strengthened the ‘Matra Shakti’, he said.

“We have seen many movies, read stories and poems detailing how the women and children of the village have to walk miles and miles to fetch water… Why do these people have to go to a river or pond every day? Why does the water not reach these people? I think those who had the responsibility of policy-making for a long time should have asked this question to themselves,” the Prime Minister said.

“But this question was not asked. Because, at the places where these people lived, they had never seen such a problem of water. They do not even know what is the pain of life without water. Water is available everywhere in the house and swimming pool. Such people had never seen poverty, so poverty remained an attraction for them, a means of showing literature and intellectual knowledge. These people should have compassion towards an ideal village, but they continued to like the deprivation of the village,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said, “A long time has passed, 75 years of Independence, now we have to move very fast. We have to ensure that the situation of transporting water by tankers or trains to any part of the country does not arise again…For this we have to continue our work on war footing,” Modi said.

Stating that many areas in the country face the problem of polluted water, the Prime Minister said that at one time, the number of tap connections in the 61 districts of the country affected by encephalitis was just 8 lakh. Today, it has increased to more than 1 crore 11 lakh, he said. He said that the number of tap connections in aspirational districts has increased from 31 lakh to more than 1 crore 16 lakh.

Modi asked people to save water. He said that every citizen of the country who lives in areas having abundance of water should make more efforts to save water. He said that people have to change their habits.

The Prime Minister also interacted with five Pani Samiti (water committees) and gram panchayat members­–Girijakant Tiwari of Umaree village of District Banda from Uttar Pradesh; Rameshbhai Patel of Pipli, Gujarat; Kaushalya Rawat of Uttarakhand; Sudha, Vellery, Tamil Nadu; and Laithanthem Sarojini Devi of Manipur.

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