In less than ten months since the launch of this campaign, tap water connections have been provided in 6.85 lakh (66 percent) schools, 6.80 lakh (60 percent) Anganwadi centres (AWCs), and 2.36 lakh (69 percent) gram panchayats and community healthcare centres (CHCs) in villages across India. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure clean tap water supply to children in schools, Anganwadi centres, and ashram shalas (residential schools) for their wellbeing and better health, a campaign was launched to make provision of tap water supply in these institutions.
In Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, provision of clean tap water supply in all schools, ashram shalas and Anganwadi centres have been made, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown resulting into repeated disruptions. Once schools and ashram shalas open, safe tap water to children will greatly contribute to their better health, improved sanitation, and improved hygiene.
To ensure safe tap water to children, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has appealed to all states and UTs, to reach every school and Anganwadi centre with tap water connection on a priority basis. In less than 10 months, as a result of this sustained campaign, 6.85 lakh schools, 6.80 lakh Anganwadi centres and 2.36 lakh GPs/ CHCs have a tap water supply for drinking water and cooking mid-day meals, 6.18 lakh schools have tap water in toilets/ urinals and 7.52 lakh schools have tap water hand washing facility. To ensure water availability and treatment of used water, in 91.9 thousand schools, rainwater harvesting and in 1.05 lakh schools, greywater management systems have been installed. This will not only boost the water availability but also create awareness among children and inspire them to learn water management in their growing stage.
Acknowledging the need for ‘potable piped water’ to children, teachers, support staff, Anganwadi workers, and the caregivers for repeated hand washing to prevent Covid-19 pandemic, the mission is pushing for providing safe piped water supply to all schools, ashram shalas and Anganwadi centres at the earliest.
Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS), an online portal, has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for water quality sample collection, testing, and uploading/ communicating results to users. In case, any water sample tested is found to be contaminated, an automated alert is sent to concerned authorities to initiate remedial action. On this portal, an individual can register their sample and choose a nearby lab to get the water sample tested. This portal can be accessed at the following weblink:https://neer.icmr.org.in/website/main.php. As of July 25, 2021, about 4.9 lakh samples for water quality testing have been received through the WQMIS portal.
The water supply facilities created under Jal Jeevan Mission will be operated and maintained by the gram panchayat and/ or its sub-committee i.e. village water & sanitation committee or Paani Samiti. Development agencies like UNOPS, UNICEF, and WHO are also assisting in generating awareness about the Mission, water conservation, and through WASH interventions such as handwashing, etc. in schools.