The north eastern State of Sikkim which attained the status of the country’s first open defecation free (ODF) State in March, has nominated Amba Gram Panchayat (GP) for the nationwide Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) competition.
Amba Gram Panchayat which consists of 5 wards, 4363 households and a population of 2236 falls under the Pakyong Block Administrative Centre in East Sikkim district.
Given that the village was among the most backward in the State, the Chief Minister of Sikkim has adopted the village for its overall development.
Under the SSSS competition, as many as five community sanitary complexes (CSCs) were constructed in the village.
There was enormous community participation with NGOs, Self Help Groups, ASHA and Anganwadi workers, local public and the village community pitching in to clean, repair, repaint and beautify the toilets for public use. The surrounding areas were also cleaned up and flowering shrubs were planted. The exercise created a sense of ownership and pride.
To sustain the operations and maintenance, rural marketing centres have been established adjacent to the CSCs that take care of the smooth functioning of the facilities.
Organised by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the purpose of SSSS was to ensure that toilets are made available in public areas of rural India, particularly for the floating population and migrant labourers.