India stressed the need for building resilient systems that can provide long-term solutions for the sustainable use of water at a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting on Thursday.
While speaking at the UNGA meeting, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, "There is no doubt that in our journey to achieve the 2030 agenda, water supply and sanitation have to be the centre of our global efforts. We need to make water available to the most vulnerable. At the same time, we need to build resilient systems that provide long-term solutions for sustainable use of water."
"The Clean India Mission, which was launched in 2014, to achieve universal sanitation became the world's biggest sanitation campaign with the construction of 110 million toilets in only six years resulting in open defecation free India. Recently, we have launched the "Water is Life Mission" (Jal Jeevan), a USD 50 billion project to provide safe and piped drinking water to all households by 2024," he added.
Meanwhile, union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said on Thursday that Over 42,000 government schools across the country do not have drinking water facilities, while more than 15,000 schools have no toilets. The minister quoted the statistics from Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) in response to a written question in the Rajya Sabha. "As per UDISE, 2018-19, out of 10,83,747 total number of government schools in the country, 10,41,327 government schools have drinking water facility and 10,68,726 government schools have toilets," he said in his written reply. "States and UTs have been repeatedly advised to ensure that all the schools, including those under the non-government sector (private, aided schools, etc.) in their jurisdiction should have provision for separate toilets for boys and girls and safe and adequate drinking water facilities for all children," the minister added.