Sanitation programme on community radio marked WTD in Punjab

World toilet day 2022 which was observed globally on 19th November 2022 was celebrated across the state of Punjab with full enthusiasm, the day kick-starting with a sanitation programme on community radio that promoted awareness among the rural communities on various components of SBM-G Phase II.

The programme was recorded on 18th November 2022 and relayed on Chitkara Radio 107.8 FM on 19th November 2022 on the occasion of World Toilet Day.

The community radio facility was established in the Department of Mass Communication of Chitkara University, located in Rajpura, Punjab.  The system which covers a radius of 10-15 kms of the surrounding area is completely run and managed by students.

Facilitated by Sh. Ashutosh Mishra, Dean, Department of Mass Communication, the 20-minute programme focused on spreading awareness on solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) that would contribute to the health and well-being of a community. Further, listeners of Chitkara Radio 107.8 FM were requested to contribute towards the making of a Swachh and Swasth Punjab and participate in the Swachhata Run organized on World Toilet Day 2022.

Recording of the programme the previous day was followed by an informal interaction with the students during which they talked about the new initiatives on the campus. One such initiative was ‘Dil, Dosti and Dukan’ in which they de-cluttered their belongings and gathered items such as clothes, footwear, decorative items, etc., which could be reused by others.

Commenting on the initiative, one of the students talked about the trend by most people to purchase items, use them for a while and discard them without realizing that they could be used again. Over the past few months, the students have been collecting unused items and giving them away freely to those in need and if any students required them, at a minimal charge of Rs.10.  The initiative has become popular among students and administrative staff.

During the session, students were encouraged to support the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen Campaign, capture best practices, and make documentaries of the villages engaged in them.

Celebration of World Toilet Day in districts

Meanwhile, the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab conducted various swachhata activities on World Toilet Day. The event unfolded with a Swachhata Run organised at the Gram Panchayat (GP) level, involving local leaders, Swachhagrahis, volunteers, youth clubs, school children and members of the community.

A Swachhata Pledge was taken by all participants at the start of the Run, the venue brightened up with various banners highlighting the programmatic components of SBM-G Phase II for achieving ODF Plus villages.  Even as various IEC materials were distributed, there were group discussions, chanting of slogans to encourage hygiene and swachh practices, talks on ODF sustainability, operation and maintenance of community sanitary complexes, etc.

The event focused on creating awareness among people about the importance of using toilets, ensuring effective solid and liquid waste management and visual cleanliness through community participation which are the key objectives of the Mission.

Given that all district sanitation teams were briefed about the WTD action plan earlier, all of them actively participated in World Toilet Day 2022 celebrations, complemented by enthusiastic community participation.

Inputs: Sevya Sharma, Community Development Specialist

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