The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on 27th July, 2019, launched the capacity strengthening initiative of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti, in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The move will create a pool of 2800 field trainers in its initial trainings, who will reach out to around 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country.
The initiative seeks to ensure the sustainability of open defecation free (ODF) villages created under the Swachh Bharat Mission in the long term and enable field trainers and members of PRIs (Panchayat Raj Institutions) to create capacity to manage solid and liquid wastes as well as improve access to safe and adequate drinking water supply.
Addressing more than 6000 Mukhiyas, Jal Sahiyas, Swachhagrahis and others present on the occasion, Jal Shakti Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat emphasized the need for people’s participation highlighting that it is now time to turn the “jal ka andolan” into “jan ka andolan”to avert the impending water crisis. He appreciated the role of people who have committed themselves towards the cause of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Because of their efforts, in ODF and sanitized villages lakhs of lives have been saved, he added. He urged the people to re-energize their efforts for enabling sustained safe sanitation practices and expanding their efforts towards the provision of piped water supply to every household.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria also appreciated the role played by the various stakeholders in making Jharkhand State ODF and reiterated that the country is on track to achieve an ODF India by 2nd October 2019, on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Addressing the gathering, Secretary, DDWS, Shri Parameswaran Iyer shared the details of the capacity building training programme. He shared that by January 2020, four Field Trainers (FTs) from each district will be trained through 5-day Training of Trainers (ToTs) organized by the DDWS. The FTs would then train Sarpanchs, village secretaries and Swachhagrahis in their districts through a 3-day field training supported by the states and the districts, completing the entire exercise by March 2020.
During the event, a booklet and a film on the Jharkhand State Government’s Menstrual Hygiene Management Campaign – ‘Chuppi Todo-Swasth Raho’ Abhiyan were released. In addition, a Handbook for Sarpanchs and Gram Panchayat Functionaries; and a Jal Shakti Abhiyan Kunjika were released.
During the event, grassroots functionaries shared their experiences of being a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen). Lav Kumar Mahto-Mukhia from Budh Bazaar, Ramgarh district shared his experience of mobilising his whole community to construct a water reservoir through shramdaan and several soak pits and pond to conserve water and recharge ground water. Prafulit Kujur, Rani Mistri from Simdega spoke about the Chuppi Thodo Swasth Raho campaign and how she went about to built awareness about MHM in schools.
The awards ceremony that followed recognized outstanding contributions in the field of sanitation:
Prafulit Kujur (Rani Mistri) had gone to the remotest places and constructed 176 toilets, having been trained as a Rani Mistry. She also constructed 6 houses under PMAY and 16 soak pits. She consistently motivates people to use and maintain toilets.
Lav Kumar Mahto (Mukhia) had mobilised his whole community to construct a one km long water reservoir through shramdaan. He also constructed 47 soak pits and 10 ponds and 4 small ponds through 14th finance commission funds. He set up a unit for making sanitary pads that are sold for Rs. 1 per pad.
Manoj Prasad (Swachhagrahi) had created awareness about MHM in 126 villages and set up unit for making sanitary pads. He was active in the implementation of Chuppi This Swasth Raho campaign
Sumanthi Devi (Jal Sahiya) had actively promoted MHM and set up sanitary pad banks in 22 schools. She now works for Jal Shakti and construction of soak pits.
Malti Gagrai (Mukhia) had constructed 70 soak pits in her village and now consistently raises awareness about water conservation.
Beena Devi (Mukhia) had set up 8 mini water supply units and is actively involved in their operation and maintenance.