Commemorative Postage Stamp on Water Year 2007' with a denomination of Rs. 5.00, was released at a function in India.
This first ever stamp was released to highlight the need for the effective management of water. The stamp was released by Thiru A. Raja, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology at a function here today. Prof. Saifuddin Soz, the Union Minister for Water Resources presided over the function.
Addressing on the occasion, Prof. Saifuddin Soz, said that the Water Resources Ministry was trying its best, with cooperation of various agencies and State Governments to ensure that this scarce natural resource was not only conserved but also reached to all those who need it. He said that the Ministry has been implementing a number of schemes relating to conservation and management of water resources and have initiated steps for communicating directly with masses on the importance of conservation of water. The declaration of Year - 2007 as Water Year, he said, was a step in this direction.
He informed that during the year the Ministry took a number of mass awareness initiatives including organization of a National Congress on Ground Water, institution of Annual Award for outstanding Village Community working on Panni Panchayat, training one woman and one man as water master in each Panchayat covering five thousand villages, campaign on conservation of water through radio and television, participation in events like India International Trade Fair (IITF) etc.
He expressed his concern that over exploitation of ground water resources has also led to lowering of the ground water level in some pockets. In this connection, the Ministry has circulated a Model Bill to the State Governments for enacting legislation for conservation and recharge of ground water. He said that with judicious use and effective management of water resources, we can overcome the vagaries of nature to a great extent. The participation of the general masses is an essential element of any programme for ensuring judicious use of water. He expressed the hope that the present postage stamp will be used by the general public and will also serve in making them realize the need of proper use of water.
Thiru A.Raja in his address said that all great civilizations in the world first developed in river valleys. The history of our country begins with the mention of the Indus Valley Civilization. Our agriculture, trade, customs, traditions, music even religion all grew around rivers and imparted our country a unique multi-dimensional identity. The rain bearing clouds, our lakes and ponds not only inspired poetry and romance but also sustained the livelihood of the people.
He expressed his concern that the water conflicts are growing between cities and farmers, between industry and villages, between the farmers and the environment. Such a scenario has created a need for a multi-institutional approach for creating a water balance in the country. He hoped that wherever this stamp goes it carries the message of conserving, harvesting and harmonizing the use of water.
Smt. Gauri Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources in her welcome address informed that a series of events and activities were organized nationwide to celebrate the Water Year - 2007. She said that this stamp will create awareness among masses for the proper use of water resources. Shri S.Manoharan, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources proposed the vote of thanks and said that the water resource management system requires immediate attention.