Child participation in the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) campaign has reached new heights. Take the example of 10-year-old Niranjan Bhimappa Kolachi and his friends who recently walked 15 kms to interact with people in the neighbouring villages, their main aim being to convince people about the need to build and use toilets.
The padayatra that the children embarked upon had another objective: to encourage people to vote during the forthcoming elections of the State.As they walked through Hagarnur, Tippapur and other places, before concluding at Hoovinahadagali, they raised pro-cleanliness slogans, urging people to use toilets.
That the children want to contribute meaningfully to the society is evident from their actions. It also demonstrates that they would like to influence decisions which may affect their lives.
As far as sanitation is concerned, the children had learnt about the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin campaign – both at school and at their village meetings that comprised of awareness building and triggeringexercises that pointed out the benefits of living in open defecation free (ODF) villages.
The students of Hirehadagali government primary school in Hoovinahadagali taluk wanted people in their village and in the neighboring ones to build and use toilets.
The students’ campaign had the blessings of the ShantaveeraSwamiji, pontiff of GaviSiddeshwara Math who was present when the children assembled at the Hirehadagali GP office and flagged off the event.
According to Executive Officer of the taluk panchayat, Somashekar and block education officer, BasavarajShivapure, the event was entirely planned by the students themselves, although they offered all the support the children needed.
“We want our villages to be clean and our people to be healthy,” smiled Niranjan.