Context:

Over 35% of government schools, anganwadis do not have tap water access even ten months after the Jal Jeevan Mission launched a 100-day campaign to provide the facility.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Issues related to poverty and hunger, Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Initiatives, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of schemes)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Jal Jeevan Mission’s 100-day campaign and the Progress
  2. Criticism of the execution of the 100-day campaign
  3. Jal Jeevan Mission
  4. What are Anganwadi Centres

Jal Jeevan Mission’s 100-day campaign and the Progress

  • The 100-day campaign for 100% coverage of tap water supply aimed to provide potable piped water supply for drinking and cooking purposes and tap water for hand washing and in toilets in every school, anganwadi and ashramshala or residential tribal school.
  • It was launched on 2nd October, 2020 (Gandhi Jayanti) (at the time, about 40% of schools and anganwadis already had tap water access) and should have completed its 100-day period target by 10th January, 2021.
  • However, some States/ UTs had indicated that they need more time to complete the task and sustain the efforts and the campaign was extended till 31st March, 2021.
  • So far, Seven States – Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Punjab – achieved 100% coverage.

Criticism of the execution of the 100-day campaign

  • Almost four months after the extended deadline of March 2021, the JJM is yet to achieve its goal of 100% coverage of FHTC [Functional Household Tap Connections] in schools & anganwadi centers as only 66% schools & 60% anganwadi centers have been covered so far and this is noting that 40% of them already had tap water access in October 2020.
  • From 4.1 lakh before the campaign started, the number of schools with taps rose to 6.35 lakh by February 2021 and for anganwadis, the increase was from 4.3 lakh to 6.3 lakh.
  • In March 2021, the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Water Resources deplored the slow rate of progress, pointing out that “children are more susceptible to water borne diseases, more so, when there is also a need for repeated washing of hands as a precautionary measure during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
  • JJM has only added tap water access in about 50,000 schools and 40,000 anganwadis since the Extended deadline of March 2021, marking a significant slowdown.
  • There is widespread disparity among States, with a few laggards pulling down the national average, despite the fact that nine States and Union Territories have already achieved 100% coverage.
  • In Jharkhand and West Bengal, less than 15% of schools and less than 10% of anganwadis have tap water access.

Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Jal Jeevan Mission, a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to ensure access of piped water for every household in India.
  • National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – to provide Functional Household Tap Water (FHTC) to every rural household with service level at the rate of 55 lpcd i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (HGNSJ) by 2024.

Implications

  • Supply of water to all households is a basic necessity
  • Reduction in water borne diseases which was due to due to consumption of substandard water

Challenges

  • Critical situation of Decrease in ground water table.
  • Water demand and supply is a miss match
  • Contamination of local ground level sources of water like, ponds lakes and wells.
  • Sustaining the provision of water to all households is a challenge, not just starting it.

What are Anganwadi Centres

  • Anganwadis or day-care centres are set up under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Anganwadi centres provide a package of six services: supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, immunisation, nutrition and health education, as well as referral services.
  • The primary aim of the scheme is to reduce infant mortality and child malnutrition.
  • Beneficiaries of these centers will be Children in the age group of zero to six years, and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • It was started by the Government of India In 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
  • The beneficiaries under the Anganwadi Services Scheme are identified on the basis of Aadhaar.

-Source: The Hindu

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