In a major move to ensure provision of safe and pure drinking water for all, the Uttar Pradesh government has launched a massive campaign as part of the ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission under which about 6 lakh rural women are conducting door-to-door surveillance of water quality surveillance across the state. The campaign is also aimed at providing employment opportunities to rural women and making them self-reliant.
“Touted as one of the largest water quality testing campaigns, it is aimed at providing pure drinking water to rural households on the one hand and protecting people from water-borne diseases on the other,” Jal Shakti Minister Swatara Dev Singh said here on Saturday.
He said the government has already provided field test kits to these women while training of more than 1 lakh women has been completed across the state, including Bundelkhand and Purvanchal among others, to run the campaign successfully. The trained women have tested over 70,000 water samples in the villages so far and sent the same to Jal Nigam.
It is noteworthy that this is the first time such a large number of rural women are being trained to fight water-borne diseases in UP.
“Apart from giving better health to villagers, this scheme of Jal Jeevan Mission has also opened new avenues of employment for rural women in UP,” he said, adding that women are being paid Rs 20 per test and the government has set the target to train five women from each revenue village.
About 12 types of water quality tests can be done with the help of a field test kit. These kits can be used to test the water from taps, wells and handpumps. In case of excess harmful elements like fluoride and arsenic in the drinking water, the Jal Nigam will shut down the water source until the problem is resolved.
“Five women are being selected by the development block-level committee in each revenue village of the state. The committee members include the development block officer, executive engineer, assistant engineer and junior engineer. Consent of women is important during selection,” the minister said.
The training of most of the women has been completed in the revenue villages of Shahjahanpur, Bijnor, Firozabad, Pilibhit, Budaun, Bareilly, Moradabad, Bulandshahr, Ambedkar Nagar and Sambhal. Apart from ensuring adequate supply of safe drinking water in rural areas to protect people’s health, efforts are also being made under the Jal Jeevan Mission to create employment on a massive scale. Meanwhile, training of women is underway in other districts of the state.