Swades Foundation hosted a round table discussion with Girish Mahajan, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Water Resources and Medical Education, on steps to be taken to provide clean drinking water across the city of Raigad.
The Foundation has created 424 drinking water schemes, bringing tap water into over 32,000 households under 104 solar run drinking water scheme and 150 schools were provided with drinking water. Additionally, the foundation has brought over 2,100 acres of land under irrigation.
“The firm aims to provide clean tap water to every household in the country. The foundation acted decisively on this belief long before the announcement of PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Nal se Jal’ mission”, the Foundation said.
Initially, the foundation faced tremendous difficulties including the lack of enthusiasm of donors who were not ready to pay the 20 percent extra costs. Also in most cases, the community itself was not convinced.
The Centre has stressed continuously upon the need for water conservation and to provide drinking water to every household in the country. As a part of this, the Government had launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan earlier this year, followed by an allocation of Rs 3.5 lakh crore to the Jal Jeevan Mission.
During the meeting Girish Mahajan gave insights on how corporates and NGOs can join hands with citizens for water conservation and create a partnership along the lines of Jal Shakti to conserve water and secure the future. He stressed the importance of providing clean water to every household in the country.
“The central government has been proactive in emphasising the importance of water conservation, and I would like to thank Shri Narendra Modiji for being involved in the matter himself. The Maharashtra government led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also laid out a number of schemes towards the achievement of this massive transformation around water. These initiatives, in line with the Jal Shakti Abhiyan should bring a positive change in people’s attitudes towards water conservation,” Mahajan said.
Ronnie Screwvala, Founder, Swades Foundation, said, “Water is at the core of our unique 360 degrees model of holistic rural development. We always start with water, without which no other intervention can really succeed. Our belief in tap water came very early as we still found women having to go to the stand posts late at night and carry water. We truly believed that if it was our family, this is what we would want.”
“Surprisingly the community initially resisted the idea, but today our communities feel truly empowered with a tap in their homes and our water committees now lead the water conservation and recharging of their structures. We are also proud of our efforts in solar pumps and our efforts to introduce drip irrigation for all agricultural use. Also, we do not allow the use of groundwater for agriculture,” Screwvala said.