BENGALURU: Karnataka, which has the second-largest drought-prone area after Rajasthan in the country declared the year 2019 as the ‘Year of Water’ by the state government. Following the declaration by the state government, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has issued a notification directing all 78,000 state governments run primary and secondary schools in the state to sensitize its students and parents about water conservation.
Dr. KG Jagadeesha, Commissioner of DPI has issued a circular to the heads of all 34 educational districts in the state to sensitize the students on the issue of rainwater harvesting, recycling and sensible use of water. This new initiative is being implemented as a part of the earlier launched campaign called Jalamrutha project which was implemented by the Karnataka government for rejuvenation of lakes, ponds and waterbodies.
Karnataka, being the second most drought-prone area in the country has now looked to solve its water woes by sensitizing the residents of Karnataka under Jalamrutha project, a community-driven movement focusing on drought-proofing measures, water literacy, rejuvenation of water bodies, creation of new water bodies and development of watersheds and afforestation activities.
Under this initiative, all government-run schools are instructed by DPI to grow medicinal and fruit-bearing plants under the Hasiru Karnataka programme at the land available in the school premises with the help of local administration authorities.
The government has also issued directions to all urban local bodies, panchayat raj institutions, agriculture, horticulture and forest departments to assist education department grow plants in the school premises.
The officials said that these measures will not only increase the greenery in schools but also help in utilizing rainwater that falls on the roofs of school buildings and school compounds.
All the school heads have been directed by DPI to educate students, parents and community by wall writings on school compound highlighting the importance of water literacy, conservation of water, health and sanitation issues, improvement of green cover in school campus, social forestry and grooves forestry in every village.
Schools are also asked to introduce year-long cultural and educational activities to promote the campaign. Instructions have also given to all education department officers to hold literacy rallies in every village, town and city to sensitize students, public and community for students that highlights the importance of building check dams and percolation pits, rainwater harvesting, recharging groundwater, rejuvenation of water sources like lakes and ponds through community participation.