The Gram Panchayats of Purwa, and Akbarbur Talhu in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh have transformed into visually clean and green villages, thanks to various interventions by HCL Foundation under the Clean Village Project – an initiative under its flagship rural development programme called HCL Samuday.
The GPs were identified as a part of Phase-1 of the Lighthouse Initiative that was launched by India Sanitation Coalition at FICCI in collaboration with the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India.
The Lighthouse Initiative (LHI) is a multi-stakeholder Public Private Community Partnership by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Government of India, along with India Sanitation Coalition (ISC) at FICCI, and Corporates under SBM-G Phase 2. The programme aims to create 75 model GPs across 15 states with all systems in place for rural sanitation that would bring about visual cleanliness, in its first phase.
Activities carried out under this initiative were:
Cleanliness and plantation drives: With a view to making villages both clean and green, as many as four mass cleanliness and plantation drives were organized. Ahead of this, awareness was generated among the community, seeking their participation for the long-term sustainability of the initiative.
Solid, liquid and plastic waste management: Focus was given to the cleaning of lanes and drains, removal of garbage vulnerable points, managing of biodegradable waste using composting techniques at household and community levels, and plastic waste management using scientific methods. Additionally, drains were constructed to connect households to the drainage system. Owing to the initiative, 147 households have adopted composting, 141,500 kgs of wet waste have been managed and 16 garbage vulnerable points have been removed from the area. Also, as many as 406 households are now connected to the liquid waste management network.
WASH in schools: To make a visible impact on the health and hygiene of children, sensitization sessions were held that created a ripple effect on their families and immediate surroundings. The initiative is expected to improve children’s health, school enrolment, attendance, and retention. This component has also catered to the needs of adolescent girl students who were made aware of the need for Menstrual Health Management and were provided with 2 sanitary napkin dispensing machines and incinerators for disposal of sanitary waste within the school premises.
Institutional engagement and capacity building: To ensure long-term sustainability of the project, capacity building of key stakeholders was organised. Further, orientation sessions on decentralized operation of waste were held with safai karamcharis, PRI members, Self-Motivated Groups, and various other samitis. The workshops at the block level engaging all administrative functionaries helped them conduct the groundwork smoothly, fostering long-term sustainability of efforts.
As a result, the two GPs today boast of a hygienic environment for their residents and are a source of inspiration to neighbouring panchayats. Clean India begins with clean villages and with every step the village communities are proving that their dream is striding toward becoming a reality.
Background: HCL Samuday embarked on the ‘Clean Village Project’ in 2020-21 with an aim to bring visible cleanliness to villages. As part of this project, a system for segregation of dry waste at source and collection of waste from every household was established. While wet waste is managed by converting it into compost using scientific methods at the village level itself, dry waste is collected and stored to be sent for recycling purposes. Along with this, grey water, generated from kitchens and bathrooms, gets treated through natural chambers and is routed to natural water bodies in the village. Rejuvenation of these water bodies is resulting in increasing the groundwater levels in the vicinity and also ensuring a healthier environment. To date, as many as 141 Gram Panchayats have joined the movement of ‘Clean Village Project’ in Hardoi district.