Union minister for commerce Anand Sharma emphasised the need for taking up water harvesting and ground water recharging measures in a mission mode at the national level, given the depletion of water resources, which would pose a grave water crisis for the country by 2020.
Inaugurating the Water Health Centre (community water system) at Janawada in Sankarapalle mandal of Rangareddy district on Friday, he hailed the safe drinking water initiative by Jaladhara Foundation being promoted by Water Health India (WHIN). He stressed the need for more such initiatives in public private partnership (PPP) mode. He said local governments need to chip in as the government itself cannot do all by itself. The minister said that 4 percent of the children in the country fall victims to water borne diseases and there is need to address this problem. He wanted the industries in the country to initiate safe drinking water measures as part of their CSR activities. He felt that though the country is advancing on various fronts, people in rural areas are still going for open defection and hoped that by 2020 the country would be free of these unhygienic practices.
Jaladhara Foundation (JF) programme aims to create a transformational behavioural change in these communities by focusing on women and children in its programmes for communicating the connection between consumption of safe water, hygiene practices and health outcomes. It intends to create awareness and spread the significance of safe drinking water and work with partners on the provision of infrastructure (water facilities) to provide clean and safe drinking water.
US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell along with host of celebrities from Hollywood including Jon Cryer, Lisa Joyner, Gretchen Cryer, John H Williams, former US Ambassador to Indian Richard Celeste, his wife Jacqueline Lundquist, Lee Cullum, Bollywood personalities including Gulshan Grover, Jackie Shroff, Dia Mirza and others were present.