As India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day, News18 and Harpic Mission Paani hosted its first Waterthon celebrating the country’s water heroes. The 8-Hour long Waterthon, broadcasted live on Network18’s TV news channels and digital platforms brought together global policy makers, and eminent personalities from all walks of life, the Armed Forces and corporates to address the criticality of water for hygiene and conservation.
Speaking during the live event Vijay Rupani, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat shared, “Currently out of 93 Lakh households in the state 73 Lakh households are receiving tap water. For the rest 20 Lakh households community tap’s have been arranged as of now. Work is in progress and as per our plans and estimate in next 2 years, that is, by 2022 all 93 lakh households in Gujarat will get tap water. All necessary measures are being taken.”
He further added, “With respect to sanitation security and community hygiene, there is not a single city in Gujarat which does not have a drainage system of its own or a sewage treatment plant. Gujarat is the only state which uses the maximum capacity of a sewage treatment plant. As per the Swacch Bharat mission, almost entire Gujarat is free of open toilets. Three years back we launched ‘Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay’ program and you will be surprised to know that it was a success in its first year only.”
India’s largest Waterthon witnessed a series of thought-provoking sessions deliberating on efficient solutions and the need to prioritize efforts towards water conservation. Amidst much fanfare, Harpic Mission Paani launched a special ‘water’ curriculum for school children. The curriculum highlights the importance of water to maintain hygiene and conservation.
Host of notable personalities such as Gajendra Singh Shekhawat — Minister of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Dr. Harsh Vardhan — Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Tech, Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ — Minister, Human Resource Development, Government of India, Smriti Irani — Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, Nitin Gadkari — Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Govt. of India along with celebrities like AR Rahman, Mallika Sarabhai, Prasoon Joshi, , HH Chidanand Swami, Rajkumar Rao, Mandira Bedi, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Gul Panag, Bhumi Pednekar, Vishwanathan Anand amongst others celebrated the journey and impact of the News18 and Harpic Mission Paani campaign. The live event featured song and dance performances by Esha Deol in the opening dance act followed by Malini Awasthi, Shaan and the evergreen Indian Ocean.
Water is precious. Every drop counts. Every effort matters. Let’s all pledge together for a more equitable, more sustainable tomorrow, by focusing on water as well as hygiene.