” it is a fact that today almost half of the houses in India do not have drinking water. People have to struggle to get drinking water. Mothers and sisters have to travel 2, 3, 5 km carrying the load of water on their heads. A large part of their lives is spent in struggling for water. Therefore, this government has decided to emphasize upon a special task and that is – how to ensure availability of water in every house. How does every house get water, pure drinking water? And so I declare from the Red Fort today that in the days to come, we will take forward the ‘Jal-Jeevan’ Mission. The central and the state governments will jointly work on this ‘Jal-Jeevan’ Mission. We have promised to spend more than Rs. 3.5 lakh crores on this mission in the coming years. Work should be done on water conservation, irrigation, rain-water harvesting, seawater or waste water treatment, and ‘Per Drop, More Crop Micro Irrigation for the farmers. Water conservation campaigns should be launched, creating awareness in the common citizens about water, arousing their sensitivity so that they understand the importance of water; even the children should be taught about water conservation as part of their curriculum in their childhood. We must move forward with the belief that in the next five years we have to do more than four times the work that has been done in the last 70 years for water conservation and to revive the sources of water. We cannot wait any longer. The great Saint Thiruvalluvar ji had professed hundreds of years ago when perhaps no one would have thought of the water crisis and the importance of water.
And then Saint Thiruvalluvar ji had said NeerIndri Amiyadhu Ulganein नीरिंडरी अमियदुउलगनेंmeaning that if water starts disappearing, then nature’s processes get disrupted and eventually come to an end. This initiates the process of total destruction. I was born in Gujarat. In North Gujarat, there is a jain pilgrim city called Mahudi. Approximately 100 years ago there lived a Jain saint who was born in a farmer’s family. He used to work in the fields but under the influence of Jainism. He became a Jain saint called Budhi Sagar ji Maharaj. He left behind some scriptures 100 years ago in which he shared a premonition that there will be a time when water will be sold in grocery shops. Can you imagine that the words of the saint written hundred years ago have actually become a reality now. What was predicted a century ago is now a ground reality, and today, we all are actually buying water from grocery shops. ”