Under the Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya (SSS) contest that is currently underway, with an aim to mobilize rural households to beautify their toilets; over 54,000 toilets in Ranchi district of Jharkhand have been painted with colourful motifs and inspiring sanitation messages.
The SSS competition organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India is being held from 1st to 31st January 2019, across rural India.
Ever since the competition began, the atmosphere in villages has been upbeat with people from all ages engaged in healthy competition, contributing to the competition in their own way. In fact, with the toilets painted in vibrant hues by the beneficiaries themselves, the villages wear a festive look. Brilliant colours, culturally significant motifs and messages to promote safe sanitation describe the scene – the exercise creating a sense of pride as they make the toilets aesthetically pleasing.
In addition, according to District Collector, Mr. Mahimapat Ray, Swachhata Diwas was conducted in all schools and anganwadis on 19th January along with a Swachh Matdan (sanitation vote) to see if any families are still defecating in the open.
SSS-19 was launched at panchayat level under Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) calling for people to paint their toilets. Also, a wide variety of activities were undertaken keeping in mind that no section of the community was left out. All district officials, concerned block officials, village volunteers (Swachhagrahi’s) and UNICEF representatives were called into action to enrich the programme.
Preparation for SSS: Ahead of the campaign, the district administration organized door-to-door awareness meetings, village-level awareness camps, programmes to felicitate dedication and commitment towards a Swachh Ranchi among ground level swachhata champions. Further, implementation guidelines were circulated among all 18 blocks of Ranchi. Every block was asked to identify and honour best performing stakeholders who were recognized and felicitated as Swachhata champions. Volunteer organizations such as NSS, NCC and NYK actively participated in the activities organized in schools.
Community involvement: To get households to participate in the contest, the district administration with support of all key stakeholders, mobilized all resources under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) in all the blocks. Awareness rallies were taken out across the panchayats to promote various aspects of behavioural change and to highlight the importance of cleanliness.
Swachh Matdan: Sanitation voting was organized to find out if any families were still defecating in the open and to study the impact that achieving ODF status had brought to the rural community. This was organized in 166 high schools that saw the participation of 37589 students from classes 9-12. The idea was to sensitize people and the community through the champions of their home – their own children. Such exercises have played a key role not only in successfully making the district ODF, but also to ensure sustainable usage of toilets. It would go a long way to ensure sustainability.
Swachhata champions honoured: District awards were presented to ground level swachhata champions, beneficiaries, students, swachhagrahis, block development offices, sarpanchs, pradhans, SHG groups, anganwadi workers and ward members for outstanding efforts during the competition.
Swachhta Diwas 2019: In Ranchi which was declared ODF on 15th of November 2018, Swachhata Diwas was observed in all schools on the 19th of every month. On the occasion, cleaning up and painting of schools and anganwadis, handwashing activities was carried out, in addition to Swachh Matdan.
On the occasion, impact of the SBM-G campaign on the rural community was evaluated and plans were made to fill in the gaps wherever necessary even as efforts are being made to strengthen ODF sustainability.