Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, today stressed the need to launch a huge jan andolan for water conservation along lines of the Swachh Bharat Mission to address agricultural, industrial and domestic water issues.The Minister said, “Years before today, nobody would have believed that the sanitation coverage of India would reach the 100% mark by 2019. Today, in just 4 and a half years since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission, this figure has increased from 39% to 99%. I express my gratitude to all of you who have contributed to this jan andolan and have made India a role model for the rest of the world.”The Minister said that the challenge of providing water to 17% of the world’s population (which lives in India) with just 4% of water in the world available with us, is the next big challenge facing the country. He added that he was confident that, with the PM’s vision and the people’s support, this Mission too can be accomplished.The Minister was speaking at the launch of the Swachh Mahotsav 2019 - a campaign to celebrate the successes of the Swachh Bharat Mission and honour the stakeholder who were instrumental in making it happen. Kickstarting the Mahotsav, winners of Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya were recognized by the Minister in the Capital today.
The Mahotsav is being organized by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti and will culminate on 2nd October 2019, the 150th birth year anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.The Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya contest was aimed at sustained usage of toilets by encouraging pride in the toilet by the household. From January 1 to 31, 2019, more than 1.34 crore toilets were painted, decorated and given a facelift by the people of India under the campaign. The best performing States, Districts and individuals were awarded for making the campaign successful today.Speaking at the event, the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Parameswaran Iyer,mentioned that over 20,000 awards would be given to acknowledge the contributions of people from different walks of life under the Swachh Mahotsav campaign. He added that the campaign would be marked by immense information, education and communication activities at district, state and the national level in order to celebrate Swachhata.The event witnessed the launch of Swachh Mahotsav logo and a book by the Minister. A book, ‘Showcasing Swachh Bharat Mission:When print media told the Swachh Bharat Story’ was launched. The book is a compilation of media coverage of the major milestones of the Swachh Bharat Missionsince 2014. The event was attended by State Secretaries, Mission Directors, District Collectors, Sarpanches, Swachhagrahis and the winners of the Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya Contest.