The Capital Dialogue (an interactive series where policymakers meet key stakeholders) is an initiative of the Sunday Guardian Foundation. Its seventh session was held on July 19 in New Delhi. The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, was the chief guest where he interacted with policymakers, leaders, students, doctors, school principals, fashion designers, diplomats and serving officers of the government.
Most of the questions were related to the recent river schemes and political scenarios. Besides, questions related to crimes against women, girls, children and dalits in Rajasthan formed the integral part of the discussion.
He said that in 2019, when this scheme was started, only 16% of the country’s population had access to direct water. But in just 4 years, the government increased the number to 65% mark, and hopefully, in the coming years, the target is to achieve 100 % mark.
Water distribution between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken the initiative to merge the rivers so that we can transfer the surplus water to the deficit areas. But as time passed, the files were lost somewhere. In the year 2014, when the BJP came into power, it again started to work on it under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2014, our government identified 31 links, out of which DPR’s 18 have been read, but because of interstate issues, work has not started yet.
However, after resolving the differences over the sharing of water, the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Yogi Adityanath, signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre in the virtual presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The revised deal will allow MP to get an additional 100 mcm of water from the project, which will be implemented at an estimated cost of more than Rs 45,000 crore. Due to this project, more than 62 lakh people will benefit.
Slams the Opposition for heinous crimes in Rajasthan.
In response to a question about the heinous crime happening in Rajasthan, he said that it was sad that yesterday morning, four members of the family were murdered, and a little girl of hardly 4-5 years old was burned alive.
Three days ago, at a university, a minor Dalit girl was gang-raped. Two days before, a seven-year-old girl was raped. And this is the condition of not only Jodhpur. The entire state of Rajasthan is in its grip.
Rajasthan has become a place of corruption and has made criminals fearless. It has become the rape capital for minors and Adivasis. The entire country got ashamed when wives of the soldiers had to protest with grass in their mouths, and they were dragged and their clothes were torn. So, these are the situations that need to be considered.
India vs. NDA
In the contest of the Opposition party name ‘INDIA’, he said these are the aimless, motiveless people. He quoted the words 3C, Chal, Charitra, and Chahera. By saying these, he said the people of India have noticed the Chal, Charitra, and Chahara of these Opposition leaders. They won’t win the election as they don’t have any non-corrupt leaders. Every leader indulges in corruption charges. He added that by changing the name of the alliance, they cannot change their character. He added that they are the ones who create conflict in the name of caste, race, religion, and identity. So, people had identified their faces.
He added that we fought the election on our work, development, infrastructure, economics, literacy, etc. He claimed that we will win the 2024 Lok Sabha election and will get 50% of the total vote share, and on the seats, he said we will get around 350 seats.
Indus Water Treaty
In the 1960s, when the treaty happened, they didn’t understand the sensibility of those who were affected by it. How did they decide the distribution of water? As 68% of the water has been given to our neighbours in Pakistan and only 32% of the water has been given to us,
Even 32% of the water we get is only because of the Bikanare king of that time. Late Maharaja Singh built a canal on the River Ravi; that’s how we got the water from the River Ravi.
In December 2019, iTV Network launched the Aakhri Boond initiative. Which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister Gajendra Shekhawat ji and Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living Ashram in Bengaluru. The initiative has completed almost 1,000 hours of public information programming and launched physical projects in Haryana. On that account, iTV Network has given the Aakhri Boond Appreciation Awards:
The first Award was given to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Jaltara Initiative. They are working on rejuvenating 70 rivers and streams across eight Indian states. Over 90,500 recharge structures have been built so far, benefiting 3,450,000+ people in 19,000+ villages.
The second award was given to Subramanya Kusnur, founder, chairman, and CEO of AquaKraft. AquaKraft is working on sustainable water solutions in more than 4,000 villages, with projects harvesting more than half a billion litres of water.
This year, IIFA launched Be Water+ve, a campaign in partnership with AquaKraft and the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The Be Water+ve movement is an initiative to activate civil society and corporations to work with the government to make rural India water positive through education and interventions.