Training on Sujal Swachh Gaon, an initiative launched by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation to strengthen the capacity of all stakeholders working at the Panchayat level across the country to ensure and sustain the gains of sanitation achieved under SBMG is currently underway in Jharkhand.
The move will contribute immensely to sustaining ODF status in the rural communities. Under this initiative, various functionaries from the Gram Panchayat such as Mukhiyas, Up-Mukhiyas, Panchayat Sachivs and Swachhagrahis will be trained to implement the ODF Plus agenda, which will improve access to safe and secure water supply through the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and at the same time contribute to ODF sustainability, solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) and menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
State level action: According to official data, Jharkhand plans to cover all its 4396 Gram Panchayats across 24 districts of the State. It will also put in place a District Training Management Unit (DTMU) each comprising of 4 members in every district. DTMU will include District coordinators of IEC and HRD, Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin, National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Sanitation and Hygiene, Assistant Engineer, Drinking Water and Sanitation Department (DWSD) or District Environment Specialist, Neer Nirmal Pariyojna.
All DTMU members have been trained as Master Trainers in three batches at the State Level, during the 5-day training programme held at VISWA Training Centre. Senior officials including Secretary DWSD participated in the sessions.
Commenting on the training programme, Secretary DWSD said, “Sujal and Swachh Gaon capacity building program is a good move to reinforce ODF status, as well bring convergence action. It’s good to see that MHM is also a component of the training package.”
Thereafter, as a follow up of the Master Trainers training, all districts prepared a training plan to cover 3 members from each of their GPs – namely Mukhiya/Up–Mukhiya, Panchayat Sachiv, Motivators, and Jal Sahiyas. They were provided handbooks, modules and guidelines. Moreover, a model budget was shared with district to carry out their district specific training programme.
Sujal training in districts: Given that Assembly elections are due in Jharkhand this year; all districts were asked to conduct training for at least one batch in October. Following the direction, 22 out of 24 districts were able to hold training programmes. District level trainings were carried out over a 3-day residential programme, the response very positive. This has been useful in rebuilding the momentum on ODF-S with focus on O&M on water and ODF+ activities.
Response from participants:
“Sujal and Swachh Gaon training was a complete package of water and sanitation and this helped in clarifying concepts with clear roles and responsibilities. I will make the best use of the information and knowledge provided.”- Ramesh Saw, Baggunda Panchayat, Swachhagrahi – Giridih
“I understood the roles and responsibilities of a Mukhiya from this training program and also the major challenges for SLWM and grey water management. I had an opportunity to prepare and make a budget.” – Rani Murmu, Mukhiya, Petarvar, Bokaro
“Providing water facility is not enough, as any water scheme can get defunct, similar to what happened in Usra Panchayat. So, a proper mechanism must be developed and strengthened. Through the mechanism and strengthening of systems covered in the training, I am more confident now.” Shailesh Kr Chaudhary, Mukhiya, Usra Panchayat.
“I was never clear about my role and responsibility as a Jal Sahiya. This training covered all aspects, particularly my role.” Gudhiya Devi – Jal Sahiya, Patratu.
Status of training as on date: Thus far, a pool of 120 master trainers have completed training (Batch I – 41, Batch II – 38, Batch III – 41) conducted by PriMove and UNICEF. Also all districts have submitted their training calendars and shared their plans of action. Altogether 930 field functionaries have been trained from over 17 districts in 18 batches so far.