Hundreds of volunteers took to the streets of Guntur on 2nd December, 2018 as part of International Volunteers Day 2018 which falls on 5th December, to propagate the message of hygiene and sanitation, encouraging people to follow safe sanitation practices for the health and wellbeing of all people.
The one kilometer walk from Mother Theresa Circle, Guntur to NTR Stadium, Guntur was organized by Swachhta Volunteers (SwaVos), a youth organization of about 40 youth volunteers who had worked during the weekends for two months in 5 Chenchu tribal villages of Macherala Mandal/ Block focusing on behavior change on matters pertaining to safe handling of water, using of toilets, maintenances of toilet, and ensuring hygiene practices (hand washing, bath at regular times, cutting nails, keeping surroundings clean, etc).
Ahead of the event, the youth had vowed to take the message of cleanliness to the masses. The walk showcased the spirit of volunteerism as it culminated at the NTR stadium when participants formed a human chain along the outline of the acronym SwaVos.
Speaking on the occasion, Joint Collector, Guntur, Mr. AMD Imtiaz, applauded the youth, affirming their role in building a healthy nation. Flagging off the rally, he highlighted the importance of citizen’s participation in bringing about positive changes to a society.
Needless to say, youth have a key role to play in nation building. Acknowledging this, the Joint Collector appreciated the work of the volunteers, and called for all citizens to participate in such events to take the country forward.
On the other hand, Director General, Andhra Pradesh Human Resources Development Institute (APHRDI), Dr. D. Chakrapani while lauding the youth for taking time off from their educational activities, offered his support to all their future programmes.
The impact of the walk was significant. Even as the community seemed visibly happy that volunteers were concerned about them and serving them as per their capacity, the volunteers in turn were delighted with the opportunity to work on the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) component with incredible community participation.
That they were able to contribute to changing behavior in areas such as toilet usage; handwashing at critical times; cleaning of the water tanks, managing of stagnant water; was motivation enough.
Around 250 new volunteers made firm commitment for further action and support. An exhibition showcasing the work of SwaVos among Chenchu tribal was organized.