To involve and motivate youth in bringing about the much-needed change in sanitation practices and to generate awareness about managing solid and liquid waste, a training was conducted for youth on the theme ‘Clean Village, Green Village’ on March 17, 2021.
As many as 50 youth participated in the seminar by Nehru Yuva Kendra of Gurdaspur and organised by the Mahila Mandal Sidhwan of Gurdaspur, held at the District Institute of Education and Training.
According to District Youth Officer, Ms. Alka Rawat who coordinated the programme, the youth were trained on solid and liquid waste management, and construction and maintenance of community sanitary complexes under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
The objectives of the programme were:
- To generate awareness on hygiene and safe sanitation practices, greenery, and the need to curb use of plastics.
- To address challenges and obstacles in making villages clean, plastic free and green.
- To involve youth in the beautification of their villages.
- To motivate youth to keep nearby monuments and cultural heritage sites clean.
- To make villages green and free of dirt, filth, and plastics.
‘Jal Hai To Kal Hai’ was the title of the Nukkad Natak performed by the Anonymous Theatre Gurdaspur that kickstarted the seminar. The lively demonstration on the need to conserve rainwater was based on ‘CATCH THE RAIN’ initiative by the Jal Shakti Ministry.
The 25-minute play effectively depicted the implications of failing to harvest or misusing of rainwater and the resulting depletion of groundwater levels. Moreover, it portrayed how the people of Punjab might suffer from water shortage which would have a bearing on the future generation if strict actions were not taken right now. The reaction of the participants was very encouraging.
In his presentation on ‘Challenges in villages related to open defecation’ and ‘Importance of Cleanliness in the village,’ Mr. Gosh Paul (Block Resource Coordinator – Water and Sanitation Department) stressed on the need to have toilets in every village as open defecation affects everyone directly or indirectly. He stressed that even if their village was ODF, but the neighbouring areas were not ODF, then they also faced the risk of contracting infections.
On the other hand, Mr. Satish Kumar (Block Resource Coordinator – Water and Sanitation Department) deliberated on the ‘Pani Bachao’ campaign. He discussed issues relating to depletion of ground water levels in Gurdaspur and Pathankot. He informed the youth that the situation could be like the many States that face acute water shortage. He emphasised the importance of saving water and asked the participants to share the message with their families and their communities.
Thereafter, President of the Mahila Mandal Sidhwan, Mrs. Manpreet Kaur shared her experience of working for the clean and green village campaign. She urged students to demonstrate the power of youth and join the district administration in future such programmes.
She hopes to involve maximum youth with her Mahila Mandal programmess as she believes that youth is the primary force which can bring change in the society.
The meeting concluded with the youth being asked to motivate people in their villages and raise awareness in every possible way. In response, the participants agreed to participate in programmes of the Nehru Yuva Kendra related to sanitation and awareness. They also agreed to support the Mahila Mandal and provide voluntary services when needed.
Inputs: Ms. Alka Rawat, District Youth Officer, Gurdaspur