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The National Water Mission, under the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, hosted the ‘Jal Itihas Utsav‘ at Shamsi Talab, Jahaz Mahal in Mehrauli, Delhi, on December 1, 2023, with the aim of raising public awareness about safeguarding water heritage sites, instilling a sense of ownership among the masses, promoting tourism, and contributing to the restoration of these historical structures.

Water Heritage Fortnight and Jal Shakti Abhiyan

The ‘Jal Itihas Utsav’ marked the culmination of the “Water Heritage Fortnight,” celebrated nationwide from November 15 to November 30, 2023, at 75 ‘Natural Water Heritage Structures.’ It also marked the successful conclusion of the nationwide campaign ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ in 2023.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan Theme: “Source Sustainability for Drinking Water”

The campaign, themed “Source Sustainability for Drinking Water,” aimed to prepare communities for the rainy season, encourage rainwater harvesting, and ensure the sustainability of drinking water sources.The focus was particularly on 150 Water Stressed Districts identified by the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Convergence of Efforts: Shamsi Talab Restoration

The restoration of Shamsi Talab, Jahaz Mahal in Mehrauli exemplifies successful collaboration between various Departments of the Central and State Government. The cleaning and leveling of the Talab and its surrounding park were undertaken in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). This collaborative effort will be documented in an e-book, to be launched during the ‘Jal Itihas Utsav.’

Showcasing Water Heritage: Jal Itihaas Journey

As part of the event, a short video titled “Jal Itihas Journey” will be presented, showcasing the 75 identified Water Heritage sites across the country. This visual journey aims to enlighten the audience about the historical significance of these water structures and the need for their preservation.

Flowing Strings: Musical Extravaganza

Adding a cultural dimension to the celebration, a musical event titled “Flowing Strings” will be presented by the world-renowned violinist Ms. Sunita Bhuyan. This enchanting performance aims to connect the audience emotionally with water heritage and promote a deeper appreciation for these historical structures.

Committee’s Role in Identifying Water Heritage Structures

The Ministry of Jal Shakti constituted a Committee, chaired by Shri R. R. Mishra, Ex-DG, NMCG, to identify 75 ‘Natural Water Heritage Structures’ as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. These structures, showcased on the Jal Itihaas Sub-Portal on India-WRIS Portal, represent India’s rich water heritage and cultural significance.

Lessons from Tradition: Water Wisdom for the Present

India’s tradition of revering water resources, including rivers, has been a cornerstone of its cultural heritage. As the nation faces increasing pressure on its water resources, it becomes imperative for citizens to be water-wise and sensitive to water-related issues. The ‘Jal Itihas Utsav’ aims to highlight the lessons embedded in our traditional water systems, fostering a renewed connection between communities and water bodies.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q. What is the purpose of the ‘Jal Itihas Utsav’ hosted by the National Water Mission on December 1, 2023?

Answer: The grand event aims to raise public awareness about safeguarding water heritage sites, instill a sense of ownership among the masses, promote tourism, and contribute to the restoration of historical structures.

Q. What was the theme of the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ 2023 campaign?

Answer: The theme was “Source Sustainability for Drinking Water.”

Q. Which renowned violinist will be presenting a musical event titled “Flowing Strings” during the ‘Jal Itihas Utsav’?

Answer: Ms. Sunita Bhuyan, the world-renowned violinist, will be presenting the musical event.

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