Concerned about the water crisis in rural areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a personal letter to 'Gram Pradhans' (village chiefs) requesting them to conserve rainwater during the forthcoming monsoon.
The letters, signed by the PM, have been hand-delivered to the pradhans through respective District Magistrates and Collectors in the districts.
In several rural belts, the PM's letter has become a talking point among villagers. For instance, in Eastern UP's Sonbhadra, located near PM's constituency in Varanasi, the PM's letter has been delivered to 637 village chiefs wherein he has requested the Pradhans (Sarpanch) that they should make personal efforts to encourage villagers to initiate the process of conserving rainwater this season.
Written in Hindi with a personal touch, the PM says in his letter, "Dear Sarpanchji, Namaskar. I hope that you and all my brothers and sisters of the panchayat would be in the best of health. The rainy season is about to begin. We are grateful to God that we have been blessed by enough rainwater. We should make all efforts and arrangement to conserve this blessing (water)."
The PM has made a special request to the Pradhans in his one-page letter that they should convene a meeting of the gram sabha (village assembly) wherein his message should be read out. "It is requested that a discussion should be held in the village on how to conserve water. I have faith in all of you that adequate arrangements would be made to save every drop of rainwater," the letter adds.
The PM has also suggested construction of check dams and ponds where proper harvesting of rainwater can be done. In Amroha district of UP, DM Umesh Mishra ensured that PM's letter was hand-delivered to all 601 Pradhans. The DM has already laid out a plan to dig 775 ponds in rural areas and work on 500 has already started. Amroha, once a part of Moradabad, is considered one of the most fertile districts in UP, usually having enough rainfall every year.
Sources said that during the important meeting of the NITI Aayog Council on June 15, the PM would underline the need for rainwater harvesting to tackle the water crisis affecting the rural areas in the major part of the country. On the PM's instructions, the newly constituted Ministry of Jal Shakti recently held an inter-state meeting of ministers of all the states to review the water crisis in the country.