The goal of the rural water supply programme of GoI, as stated in the XI th plan documents is to provide every rural person with adequate water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis. This basic requirement should meet certain minimum water quality standards and be available at all times, in all situations, in which it is readily and conveniently accessible. However, this is likely to meet challenges, as the quality of water may deteriorate when it actually reaches vulnerable areas like rural schools. Therefore in order to supplement and add value to the on going rural water programme, and address this key challenge, a programme for installation of Stand Alone Purification System in rural schools, has started since 2008.
In order to decide on technology options the Department had constituted a High Level Technical Committee (HLTC) in March 2008. The Jalmani programme is implemented by the State Governments through the Gram Panchayat/Village Water and Sanitation Committees/Self Help Groups including women Self Help Groups, School Committees and PTA. However, flexibility is given to the State Governments to involve other stake holders also viz., NGOs, Mahila Mandals etc for the sake of better implementation of the Programme at the village level. For operating this programme, funds are provided by the State Governments or the institutions nominated by them to the Village Panchayats for activities relating to capacity building, awareness generation/publicity and such other activities which are necessary for the smooth implementation of the programme.
The ownership of water purification systems is vested with the school authorities. However, it is the direct responsibility of the Village Panchayats that the systems are run effectively and the school children get quality water in sufficient quantity. This programme is an outcome of the NRDWQM&S which empowers rural community including schools to test their own water samples. The success of this programme will be measured by the improvement in the quality of water as established in the test results under the NRDWQM&S. For this purpose there will be close coordination between School Management Committee and Village Panchayats. Village Panchayats will have the overall responsibility to ensure that drinking water available in the schools meets the minimum prescribed standards in terms of quality, potability and quantity.