Shri Raghuvansh Prasad
Hon Minister of Rural Development
Government of India
Krishi Bhawan
New Delhi 110 001

Dear Shri Raghunvansh Prasadji,

We the undersigned address this letter to you to express our need for clarity about the future of the Swajaldhara scheme for decentralized supply and management of safe water. We understand from contacts at official levels both in New Delhi and in some States that this scheme, introduced in December 2002 after intensive study and discussion, may now be under reconsideration within your Ministry. Our concern stems from conflicting impressions about whether this reconsideration is about further strengthening the thrust toward decentralisation (which we would welcome), or whether it signals a return to approaches such as those under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Scheme, with their strong bias toward centralized engineering systems. That would be a matter of grave regret. Our intention in writing to you is not so much about Swajaldhara as a scheme, but rather about its potential as a rights-based approach that can transform issues of access and equity. That thrust we believe should be sustained and strengthened. Traditionally communities were able to manage their drinking water sources, and Swajaldhar draws on this inherent strength of communities to manage common resources when supported by enabling schemes.

Swajaldhara was a major step toward Indias ability to move from top-down, supply-driven approaches to a people-centered, bottom-up approaches that could respond to the great diversity of conditions that prevail in rural India ---- conditions that are climatic, geo-hydrological, social and political. The 73rd and 74th Amendments have given us a huge opportunity for such a transformation. The experience among panchayats, village communities and womens groups has demonstrated the power of what can be achieved through decentralized approaches. We the undersigned represent a strong collective experience in these issues in parts of the country most affected by scarcity. There are several other signatories among us who support this venture. We suggest that any review take into account the experience over the last five years, not only of authorities but also of grassroot institutions who have worked with panchayats and communities on drinking water protection and supply during this period.

Sir, you are aware that ensuring access for millions of citizens to safe water and sanitation continues to challenge India and every part of the developing world. Since the Water Decade of the 80s, efforts have been made to understand why massive official programmes and investments have not achieved the universal access that has been targeted time and again. Through analysis of experience, the global wisdom has been that universal access will continue to elude us unless the responsibility for both ownership and management of safe water supply and sanitation is increasingly assumed by communities --- not as beneficiaries but rather as owners and managers. At the conference on Water Resource Development held in New Delhi in first week of July07, both the Prime Minister and you had strongly advocated the need for partnership with NGOs and others in civil society toward equitable, community-led growth.

You must ensure that people centered decentralized water system should be implemented in toto and that its benefits reach the poor and marginalized of our country.

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Latest Signatures

  • 25 December 2015200. Astad P
    Swajaldhara should be continued with greater emphasis on equity and empowerment of the poor. Address;Zip Code Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • 18 November 2015199. Arvind Np
    yojna will be continued Address;Zip Code Pravah
  • 12 November 2015198. Francis P
    I support this petition
  • 26 October 2015197. Praveen S
    I support this petition
  • 19 October 2015196. Naranbhai Maganbhair
    It should continue
  • 01 October 2015195. Swagato M
    Intiative of PRAVAH is appreciable and should be accepted Address;Zip Code Shivam Bunglow, Navjeevan Park, Dharampur Road, VALSAD - 396 001
  • 12 September 2015194. Manish V
    It should continue as it is the lifeline of those people who form the base of our nation
  • 31 August 2015193. Malcolm S
    I support this petition
  • 24 August 2015192. Piyush P
    I support this petition
  • 02 July 2015191. Sanjay Sr
    The scheme is good for sustainable drinking water in no source villages.
  • 17 May 2015190. Hargovan P
    Swajaldhara Should be continued Address;Zip Code Ahmedabad
  • 13 May 2015189. Keshavani K
    I support this petition
  • 25 April 2015188. Joseph A
    I support this petition
  • 01 April 2015187. Mitra S
    in solidarity
  • 01 April 2015186. Machhindra G
    I support this petition
  • 21 March 2015185. Sushil Kg
    I strongly support the petition. Address;Zip Code Room 259, P.R.L. , Ahmedabad 380 009.
  • 23 February 2015184. Laxminarayan Padilla
    I support this petition
  • 01 February 2015183. Vikram Ratilalm
    This scheme should be continue Address;Zip Code bodidrakhurd, ta: shehera, dist: panchmahal
  • 25 December 2014182. Shabnam H
    В Address;Zip Code В
  • 04 December 2014181. Bhavesh P
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2014180. Sandhya G
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 2014179. Dr Ssm
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 2014178. Avinash K
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2014177. Manish J
    Swajldhara Programme is verry verry important for our area,becase drinking water is the most requirment of Livelyhood. Address;Zip Code DM-70,Opp.Lakhubhai Hall,Kaliyabid,Bhavnagar
  • 02 November 2014176. Nivedita S
    I support this petition
  • 25 September 2014175. Jitesh L
    I support this petition
  • 08 September 2014174. Patil R
    I support this petition

browse all the signatures

Charlotte KaneBy:
Petition target:
Minister for Rural Development, Government of India


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