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NMCG Organises 9th Edition of Monthly Webinar Series 'Igniting Young Minds, Rejuvenating Rivers'

G. Asok Kumar, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, stated that the tradition of respecting water should be revived in our consciousness, emphasising the critical need to educate young minds about the importance of rainwater harvesting.

Shivam Dwivedi
9th Edition of Monthly Webinar Series 'Igniting Young Minds, Rejuvenating Rivers'
9th Edition of Monthly Webinar Series 'Igniting Young Minds, Rejuvenating Rivers'

The 9th edition of the monthly webinar series 'Igniting Young Minds, Rejuvenating Rivers' was organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga in collaboration with the APAC News Network. This edition's theme was 'Rainwater Harvesting.' G. Asok Kumar, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, presided over the meeting.

Dr. Bhanu Pratap Singh, Vice Chancellor of Maharishi University of Information Technology in Lucknow; Dr. Venkataramana Chitimini Reddy, Vice Chancellor of KK University in Bihar; Dr. Rajesh Naithani, Pro Vice Chancellor of Himalayan University in Dehradun; Dr. Manjula Jain, Associate Dean Academics, Teerthanker Mahaveer University in Moradabad; and Ramveer Tanwar, the Pond Man of India and an Expert of Rainwater Harvesting.

G. Asok Kumar, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, stated that the tradition of respecting water should be revived in our consciousness, emphasizing the critical need to educate young minds about the importance of rainwater harvesting.

Recalling the 'Catch the Rain' campaign, with the tagline 'Catch the Rain, where it falls, when it falls,' which he implemented as Managing Director of the National Water Mission, Asok Kumar stated that it was launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of World Water Day on 22nd March 2021 in the virtual presence of over a crore people, including sarpanches from across the country. This was possibly the world's largest water conservation campaign launch.

"Over 47 lakh rainwater harvesting structures have been built in the country, and several ponds, among other water bodies, have been identified and revitalized." "As part of the campaign, approximately 500 Jal Kendras were also established," he added. He reminded stakeholders to build appropriate Rainwater Harvesting Structures suitable for the climatic conditions and subsoil strata before the monsoon.

He mentioned the traditional water harvesting structures- Stepwells- in the country when discussing the integrated concept of conserving rainwater and preserving heritage. He stated that stepwells are excellent architectural pieces that must be preserved in order to ensure a sustainable future for all of us. 'Not only the construction but also the maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures is critical,' he said. He also emphasized the importance of turning the Jal Andolan into a Jan Andolan in order to successfully implement the Namami Gange Mission.

He stated that there is an urgent need for the younger generation to take up the mantle of water conservation and urged leaders in education to ensure that "not a drop of water escapes from their campuses." In addition to congratulating everyone on the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, he called for a 'Har Ghar Rainwater Harvesting' campaign to coincide with 'Har Ghar Tiranga.'

Ramveer Tanveer, the Pond Man of India, discussed the issues of Direct Garbage Dumping, Encroachments, and Multi-Inlets, while also elaborating the technologies of Bio-remediation, Aquaculture, aeration, and phytoremediation for redressal. He demonstrated the before-and-after changes at various ponds around the country in a presentation. 'Initiatives like 'SelfieWithPond' and 'NatureWalk' have done wonders to raise people's awareness of pond conservation, and thus water conservation,' he said.

He emphasized the importance of biodiversity, claiming that the main difference between a natural and artificial water body is the presence of healthy biodiversity in the former. He stated that community participation is essential to the success of any public programme.

When discussing the importance of water conservation, Dr. Bhanu Pratap Singh stated that Tamil Nadu is the first state in the country to make rainwater harvesting mandatory. He stated that in order to prevent the loss of water and resources, we must all use it wisely in our daily lives.

Dr. V. Chitimini Reddy discussed the importance of community participation in the successful implementation of any large-scale campaign, while Dr. Rajesh Naithani emphasized the idea of including a unique parameter in the ranking of educational institutions in the country - the Sustainability Factor - which would ensure the practice of environmental conservation, particularly water conservation, in the setup.

Dr. Manjula Jain discussed the concept of a 'Water Budget,' which the associated University was implementing in the direction of water conservation, and stated that we all have a significant role to play in such a noble cause of preserving water, and thus in the very existence of humanity! She went on to say, 'It takes a lot of blue to stay green.'

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