In about 25-odd months since the announcement of the Jal Jeevan Mission, over five crore families have been provided with tap water connections at their homes, the Jal Shakti Ministry said on Friday.
“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the subsequent lockdowns and challenges, the states/UTs worked relentlessly to ensure assured tap water supply to rural homes. Assured tap water supply in homes relieves people, especially women and young girls, from fetching water, carrying heavy loads at a distance etc., thus, reducing their age-old drudgery,” a release from the Jal Shakti Ministry said.
The newfound time is being used for income generation activities, learning new skills, supporting children’s education etc., it said.
The Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019 with an aim to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every home by 2024.
In 2019, out of about 18.93 crore households in rural areas, only 3.23 crore (17 per cent) had tap water connection. Thus, 15.70 crore households are to be provided with tap water by 2024. In addition, functionality of all existing water supply systems and tap connections is also to be ensured.
The programme directly benefits more than 19 crore rural families, bridging the rural-urban divide and improving public health. As on September 30, about 8.26 crore (43 per cent) rural households had tap water supply in their homes.
With focus on health and well-being of children, last year on Gandhi Jayanti, a campaign was launched to provide tap water connections to all schools, anganwadi centres and ashramshalas (tribal residential schools) for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, hand washing and use in toilets.
As on date, tap water supply has been provided to 7.72 lakh (76 per cent) schools and 7.48 lakh (67.5 per cent) anganwadi centres, the release added.