Varnali Deka, the deputy commissioner of Assam’s Kokrajhar district, has been nominated for two national awards for her efforts and innovations in the water sector, according to officials.
They said Ms Varnali Deka will be honoured as a ‘water warrior’ for her efforts in community participation in water conservation at her current posting, as well as her contributions in the same sector during her time in the Goalpara district.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti has invited the IAS officer to the 3rd National Water Award, which will be held in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The award will be given to her on March 29 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind.
The selection committee headed by former Chief Justice and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Ranjan Gogoi chose the 2009 batch IAS officer for this award for her innovative and unique ideas in saving lakhs of litres of water.
The award is in honour of her innovative work and collaborations in the water sector from September 2019 to January 2021, when she was the deputy commissioner of Goalpara, according to officials.
Ms Deka has also been nominated for the Jal Prahari Samman, which will be awarded in 2022, for her innovative ideas and projects that promote water conservation, according to the announcement.
On Wednesday, March 30th she will be honoured as a 2022 “water warrior” at the Jal Prahari Samaroh 2022 in the national capital.
Ms Deka’s innovative project was recently recognised with a Gold award at the National e-Governance Awards.
Deka also recently received the Election Commission of India’s best district election officer award for innovations in election management during the Assam Assembly elections in 2021.
‘Catch the Rain,’- Jal Shakti ministry programme, launched by Varnali Deka DC of Goalpara
Varnali Deka, deputy commissioner of Goalpara, launched the union Jal Shakti ministry’s rain harvesting programme, ‘Catch the Rain,’ on January 25, 2021.
Varnali Deka launched the Jal Shakti-sponsored programme in a solemn ceremony held in the DC’s office chamber. The event was attended by Somnath Paul, the district youth coordinator of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan (NYKS), as well as the youth volunteers.
The National Water Mission’s (NWM) campaign ‘Catch the Rain,’ with the tagline “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls,” aims to encourage states and stakeholders to build Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) that are appropriate for the climatic conditions and subsoil strata before monsoon.
As part of this campaign drives to build check dams, water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS, and other similar structures; removal of encroachments and desilting of tanks to increase storage capacity; and removal of obstructions in the channels that bring water to them from catchment areas, among other things, has been undertaken.
Repairs to step-wells, as well as the use of defunct bore-wells and unused wells to reintroduce water to aquifers, has been undertaken with the active participation of the people.
All water bodies in the districts are to be enumerated (checked against revenue records) and encroachments are to be removed as part of the ‘Catch the Rain’ initiative.
Under DC Varnali Deka’s initiatives, the Goalpara district has earlier received a National Water Award
The Goalpara district received the prestigious National Water Award 2019 earlier. The district came in third place in the category of Best District in the Northeast (Water Conservation).
The Ministry of Jal Shakti presented the National Water Awards for ‘Excellence in Water Management and Conservation’ across the country at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
Under the direction of deputy commissioner Varnali Deka, the Goalpara district has done commendable work in the areas of water conservation and management.
Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge Schemes have been implemented in various Anganwadi centres to instil water conservation values in the next generation and to increase guardian engagement and community participation.
In November 2019, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the first model Anganwadi Centre in Goalpara, which was funded through local CSR and crowd-sourcing.
Moreover, water purifiers have been installed in Goalpara schools thanks to CSR funding and local crowdsourcing.