Access to water; everyone everywhere: WaterAid India launched the 2023 edition of the Batting For Water Campaign
04 September, New Delhi: WaterAid India launched the 2023 edition of its flagship campaign, ‘Batting For Water’. In an endeavour to ensure full access to clean drinking water in every home, the campaign strives to support women and young girls in rural India. In recent years, rural India witnessed substantial public investment through the government in the form of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) which aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all rural households by 2024. To have a long-lasting impact complementing efforts are required by other stakeholders like the private sector, individual citizens, students in schools, colleges to make this a movement owned by everyone everywhere to achieve the dream of 100% water access in a sustainable way!
After gaining remarkable success in 2021, the ‘Batting For Water’ campaign is continuing its momentum this year as well, emphasizing the need for citizens of India to play their role by linking this movement with the great game of cricket, thereby regarding it as similar to playing with a partial bat. Just as a triumph in cricket necessitates the complete bat, so do the aspirations of individuals living in marginalized communities, particularly women and young girls in rural areas hinge upon 100% access to “water”. In a nation that has 17.7% of the global population and has only 4% of global freshwater resources, there exists a dire need to address the challenges faced by those who lack full access to clean water by uniting people to attain a shared goal – “Har Ghar Jal”. Collaborations with renowned cricketers and celebrities generated substantial public involvement during the previous campaign. This year’s efforts also seek to join forces with such notable figures especially when India is hosting the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to sensitize the masses and boost active participation to save water through better practices – we need to dedicate this World Cup to a spirit of our collective efforts to compliment the movement of water access to every household. This movement is to remind the public that “water saved is water produced”.
Looking forward to another year of the campaign and showing enthusiasm about its continued impact, Vikas Kataria, Director of Resource Mobilisation and Communications, at WaterAid India, said, “WaterAid India takes immense pride that our endeavours align seamlessly with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal – Safe & Affordable Water to All. With the ‘Batting For Water’ campaign, we seek to build unity and gain unwavering support from every individual to come forward and align harmoniously with the objective of achieving 100% access to water across the nation through responsive water habits. We believe that access to clean and safe water resources closer to habitation holds the potential to transform lives and uplift the dignity of individuals belonging to the rural community and help build our nation.”
He further added, “The organization is committed to ensuring safe and equitable access to drinking water for marginalized and vulnerable communities. Through the implementation of community-based piped water supply systems, water quality testing and monitoring, rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge structures, water recycling, and the installation of hygiene facilities in schools, urban areas, and villages, WaterAid India is effecting lasting change for millions across the country. The government has achieved great success by taking important strides in this regard over the last few years and it is important that those efforts are complimented by other stakeholders.”
The ‘Batting For Water’ campaign represents a unique opportunity for our cricketers who are celebrated in India and for the change-makers, influencers, and our citizens across the nation to make a tangible difference by taking action towards responsible water usage within their own domains. Through this innovative approach, people can collaborate to achieve the seemingly impossible and empower every rural household for long lasting, equitable access to drinking water and a dignified life. Together, we can ensure that clean water is not only a basic human right but also a potent weapon in the battle for public health.