Harnessing Jal Shakti

How PM Modi's Jal Shakti campaign is revolutionising water conservation, treasuring every drop

Harnessing Jal Shakti

In the heart of India's ethos, as shared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the landmark 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat, lies an ancient wisdom encapsulated in the Upanishads' mantra, "Charaiveti-Charaiveti-Charaiveti…Keep going." This mantra, symbolising the eternal movement of life, finds a profound echo in our contemporary struggle against the environmental challenges of our time, particularly in the realm of water conservation. As birds soar and the sun unfailingly lights up the world, Modi draws parallels to our unceasing endeavour to safeguard our most precious resource: water.

Prime Minister Modi, a visionary leader and a world guru, emphasises the intrinsic value of water, likening it to a divine offering. His poignant analogy of water and prasad (a sacred offering) serves as a powerful reminder of the sanctity of water. In his view, a single drop wasted should stir deep remorse, propelling us toward actions such as water storage, conservation, and efficient irrigation. This perspective is not just a matter of policy but a spiritual and cultural imperative, underlining the deep-seated bond with our roots that must be nurtured and strengthened.

The looming shadow of climate change has cast a renewed focus on water, deemed the holiest of works. India, with its centuries-old annual water cycle, now stands at a critical juncture, where traditional water management techniques, once part of the fabric of rural life, have assumed global significance. The G20 discussions led by India in March 2023 exemplify this shift, offering a stage for India to not only share its age-old wisdom but also to adopt innovative practices from around the world in areas such as climate-resilient infrastructure and water sanitation.

At the heart of this global dialogue is the "Igniting Collective Goodness" initiative, inspired by Modi's Mann Ki Baat broadcasts, which underscores the paramount importance of conserving every drop of water. This narrative is enriched by the Prime Minister's call to action, leveraging the collective power of India's citizens—jan bhagidari—and the transformative potential of jal shakti (water power). Modi's direct appeal to the nation's sarpanches and gram pradhans to lead their communities in water conservation efforts illustrates a grassroots approach to tackling this pressing issue.

The "Jal Shakti Campaign," as narrated through Modi's words in Mann Ki Baat, showcases the remarkable strides made through public participation. From the rejuvenation of lakes and ponds to the nationwide mobilisation for water conservation, the campaign's successes are a testament to the power of collective action. Modi's vision extends beyond mere conservation, aiming to transform water into a catalyst for prosperity, akin to the mythical philosopher's stone.

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Margaret Kruger 🇺🇸

Margaret Kruger is a writer and artist living in Sarasota, Florida, USA. After a long career in manufacturing and international business consulting, she retired to Florida to follow her passions. She has written a collection of essays and several novels about that journey. As a world traveller, instrument-rated fixed-wing airplane pilot, advanced open water scuba diver, and lover of Kathak, cooking, and all things India, she dedicates her time to reading, painting, writing, cooking for her family, and feeding songbirds.

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