Sanjaya K. Mishra @sanjayakmishra
National Water Mission (NWM), Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti was set up in 2011 based on the National Action Plan on the Climate Change, which was prepared in 2008. In his address, Hon’ble Mission Director, Shri G. Asok Kumar said that “We are all associated with water in one way or other. Most of us here are water warriors.” While elaborating the process of selecting the winner, he mentioned that the award process was initiated started six months back and went through a rigorous screening and assessment. This is the first time ‘National Water Mission Awards’ were presented to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices. He also expressed hope that this award will set a benchmark in the water sector.
Shri U. P. Singh, Hon’ble Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti started his speech with a beautiful quote “रहिमन पानी राखिये, बिन पानी सब सून। पानी गये न ऊबरे, मोती, मानुष, चून॥.” He expressed that it is a matter of delight to be here to acknowledge for the first time the people who have worked in the direction of five goals set by NWM. In his address, he reminded the Prime Minister’s focus on water conservation and water management through a people’s movement. Shri Singh also said that there are many people in India who ignorant about the groundwater scenario. He also mentioned about National Water Awards distributed in March 2019 and National Water Talk. While congratulating the award winners, he also expressed that he believes this award will motivate more and more people to do excellent work in the field of water conservation and management and also participate in future award programmes.
Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Hon’ble Minister of State for Jal Shakti said in his address that water is at the core of sustainable development and for the survival of human itself. There is a close link between water and economic growth of the country. He emphasized that cooperation is a must for a sustainable tomorrow and Jal Shakti Ministry is an example in itself of such cooperation. He said that Integrated Water Management is a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. Shri Kataria also congratulated NWM for its continuously working towards making India more climate resilient.
Before prize distribution, the esteemed gathering took water pledge with Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Union Minister for Jal Shakti.
After the distribution of awards, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Union Minister for Jal Shakti addressed the gathering. He said that the time demands more than water saving and harvesting and practice water conservation. He elaborated about the water bodies and shared an example that the society has perceived the rivers as water sources, which are actually not sources but ways. He expressed his worry that today our nation has become the most water contaminated, which is a question of life and death for the industries. The Minister lamented on the fact that only 4% of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation is spent on the water, while it is around 11% for the water-intensive industries and called for a rethink on the issue. He further advocated for the judicious and multiple uses of water are key to tackle the water challenge in India and urged the policy planners work in this direction, especially, in in the field of Agriculture and Industries. Hon’ble Union Minister also said that Jal-Andolan should become a true Jan-Andolan (People’s Movement) as exhorted by the Prime Minister to tide over the water scarcity in India.
NWM has 5 goals and 39 strategies prescribed in the Mission Document. One of the strategies of NWM under Goal IV is to incentivize the organization/ companies through awards for water conservation and efficient use of water. Hence, the NWM has initiated the ‘National Water Mission Awards’ to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices. The awards are given in ten categories defined under five goals of NWM. The prize money for the awards was First Prize – Rs. 2 lakh; Second Prize – Rs. 1.5 lakh and Third Prize – Rs. 1 lakh along with certificate and trophy.