On 15th August, 2019, Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Ministerfrom the ramparts of the Red Fort with an aim to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC)to every rural household by 2024. Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation since August, 2019 in partnership with the State governments with an aim to provide potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis. As on 15th August 2019, out of 18.93 Crore rural households, 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water connections.
During this year, every State/ UT did extensive planning following ‘bottom-up approach’ and have firmed up their plan to provide tap water connection to every home. The untiring efforts of States/ UTs have helped Jal Jeevan Mission provide 3 Crore tap water connections since August, 2019. Further, 26 districts, 457 Blocks, 34,919 Panchayats and 65,627 villages have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ meaning every family living in these rural areas is getting assured tap water supply in their homes and ‘no one is left behind’. Goa has become the first State in the country to provide 100% FHTCs and became ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State. Different States are competing with each other and focusing on the set target to ensure that every household in the country gets safe drinking wateradhering to the core principle of ‘equity & inclusiveness’.
States are giving priority to water quality-affected areas, Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe majority villages, aspirational districts, village in drought prone and desert areas and quality-affected habitations. States are working to ensure that piped water supply reaches the regions affected by Fluoride and Arsenic at the earliest as well.
The Jal Jeevan Mission journeyso far has been filled with challenges and disruptions as the entire world battled with CoVid-19 pandemic fromMarch,2020 till date. All the workshave been badly affected due to lockdown and construction work was badly affected in most parts of the country. Handwashing has become the most important tool meaning availability of adequate safe & clean water inside home has become all the more important. Giving primacy to this and with the spirit of changing lives, States/ UTs continued the water supply work following due precautions emphasized by the Government. Continuing work despite CoVid-19 also proved to be a boon for local economy generating livelihoods in their own villages, especially for the migrant labour who returned home.
As the Union government has been working towards making lives better for women across various sections by constructing individual household and community toilets, providing cooking gas, etc. similarly, tap water connections within the household aims to reduce drudgery and enhance ‘ease of living’ for young girls and women who are often burdened with the task of fetching water from the public standpost and walking long distances in search of water. By providing water at the doorstep, Jal Jeevan Mission is impacting the lives in multiple ways by improving the health parameters and reducing dropout from school among children.