And now a Swachhta Court in Rohtas

Rohtas Adalat

The district of Rohtas in Bihar is close to being declared open defecation free.  In this last stage of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin campaign, the district has commenced a weekly swachhta adalat or community court to check those who continue to defecate in the open, despite having toilets.

A brain child of District Magistrate, Mr. Animesh Parashar; the initiative was conceptualized after careful consideration.  “It will give a push to the campaign in this district which will be declared open defecation free (ODF) on 2nd October, 2017,” said UNICEF Consultant, Ashish Kumar.

The community court is held every Saturday at each of the 245 panchayats with community members such as Mukhiyas and others who are active in the ODF campaign while ensuring sustainability, acting as judges.

rohtas adalat3

Unfortunately, in most cases, it has been found that the person defecating in the open is someone who already has a toilet at home.  Cases for the adalat are bought to the court by the 700 plus motivators appointed across the district, who have been judiciously carrying out morning and evening followup.

Preparation for the weekly adalat commenced way back in August when public announcements were made, informing people that if they were found defecating in the open, they would be fined upto Rs. 1000 per person.  They had also provided incentives and assisted those who did not have toilets to build toilets while advising those who had toilets to use them.

To date, sanitation coverage in Rohtas is more than 90%.  Further, as many as 200 of the 245 panchayats and 14 of the 19 blocks are ODF.

Asked if the penalty imposed is too harsh, Ashish said that the advising stage is long gone.  “We want to convince those who continue to defecate though the fine or some sort of social boycott,” he said.

Rohtas Adalat2


SBM Campaign taken to Siachen

India Kashmir Avalanche

Ever since the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign commenced in October 2014, Siachen troops of the Indian Army have removed and sent back more than 63 tons of garbage to the base.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Defence, the loads of garbage include packing material, barrels and perishables.

“A huge amount of garbage has been brought back through man-pack loads, porters, ponies and sometimes returning helicopter ferries,” the release said.

“On arrival of the trash to disposal areas, these are buried in deep trenches dug mechanically in areas which are not on run of the rivers and where landmass is not fragile,” it added, affirming that the army continues to take steps to ensure hygiene at the highest battle field.

Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, is a place where everything is ferried from the hinterland. It is a logistics challenge to move all types of waste out of the glacier so that they do not become environmental hazards.

Swachhata Divas sees participation of country’s top leadership

Swachhata Hi Seva witnessed a major boost, when the top leadership of the country joined hands to synergize the pledge of making Bharat Swachh.  Underscoring the Centre’s commitment towards a ‘clean, healthy and strong’ India, several Union Ministers participated in various events on 17th September, 2017, to mark Swachhata Divas.

A nation-wide unprecedented campaign called Swachhata Hi Seva is being held from 15th September to 2nd October to mark three years of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).  Coordinated by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), the 15-day campaign highlights how the movement has transformed into a jan aandolan.

Taking charge of the drive, Union Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushree Uma Bharti initiated the Swachhata Drive in Shuklaganj, Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.   She talked about waste management and waste disposal, towards ensuring cleanliness and sustainability of the villages. She demonstrated ways in which waste needed to be handled and disposed off, an aspect that is highly crucial for ensuring ODF plus communities.

Elsewhere in Delhi Cantonment, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman led the cleanliness drive in Gopinath Bazar.  She said that her ministry would carry out a drive to remove garbage from high altitude areas and glaciers.

Meanwhile, Union Minister, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Textiles, Smriti Irani, performed shramdaan in the gram panchayat of Kendri in Raipur, along with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Shri Raman Singh. They participated in digging of toilet pits and construction of toilets.  Thereafter three Swachhata Raths were flagged.   These raths were expected to disseminate key IEC messages across the State during the SHS campaign. On the occasion, Swachhata Champions, District Coordinators and Swachhagrahis were felicitated for their extraordinary work in making their district ODF and ensuring cleanliness and Sanitation.

On the same day in Agartala District of Tripura, Union Minister of State (MDWS), Shri S.S. Ahluwalia, inaugurated a Digging Programme for Twin Pit Individual Household Toilets to in Bhagalpur Gram Panchayat near the Indo- Bangladesh Border under Bamutia RD Block of West Tripura District.

In the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, Union Minister of Rural Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar participated in a cleanliness drive in Gwalior by cleaning pf bus stands. He was joined by Minister Maya Singh, Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and with other senior officers and leaders.

The Ministry of Culture also participated in the campaign, wherein the Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma participated in the cleaning of a marginalized slum or basti in Noida of UP.

On the other hand, Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri. Suresh Prabhu graced the occasion with Shramdaan at Ronapal village of Sindhudurg District in Maharashtra.  Many district officials joined him including Smt. Reshma Sawant (President Zilla Parishad, Sindhudurg); Shri. Dilip Patil (Additional CEO, Zilla Parishad Sindhudurg); Shri. Anil Bagal (Deputy CEO, District Water and Sanitation Mission, Zilla Parishad Sindhudurg); Shri. Gajanan Bhosale (BDO, Sawantwadi Taluka), and Shri. V. M Naik (Additional BDO).

The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Additional Chief Secretary Shri Radheshyam Jullania and State Program Officer SBM-G Dr Atul Srivastav flagged off the Swachhata Hi Seva event with a visit to Anita Bahen house and dug a pit for toilet as a part of ‘Sharmdaan’ to promote twin leach pit toilet technology.  He encouraged the community to build twin pit toilets and use them.

Then again, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand along with Ministers of Drinking Water and Sanitation; Urban Development; Higher Education (Government of Uttarakhand), and Speaker of Vidhan Sabha, Mayor of Nagar Nigam and several MLAs as well as State and District officials participated in the Seva Divas Campaign. The campaign focused on overall cleanliness of surroundings, safe disposal of solid and liquid waste, hand-washing and usage of toilets.

Rajasthan saw the participation of the Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of State, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister (Gopalam Department) Otaram Dewasi, and various MPs, MLAs, all District Collectors and other dignitaries.

In, Banka, Bihar, Minister Revenue  and Land Reforms, Government of Bihar, Shri R. N. Mandal along with PRI members, CDO, CO, PO, District Coordinators, Block Coordinators, Swachhagrahis and ZSBP participated in a cleanliness drive.  Similar activities were carried out in other districts where MPs/MLAs, PRI members, officials from Government departments, including DCs, SHG /VO members, members of local clubs and NGOs participated.  The communities also watched the film ‘Toilet ek Prem Katha’ that was telecasted byDoordarshan from10.30am.   Not too far away in East Champaran, the Union Minister Agriculture and Farmers, Shri Radhamohan Singh (GOI) participated in various programmes organized in his constituency, Motihari.  In his speech he focused on the drawbacks of open defecation and promotion of latrine use in Bihar with a view to changing people’s mindset towards safe sanitation.

A state level event was organized in Argora Chowk of Ranchi in Jharkhand where the Chief Minister, Shri Raghuwar Das, Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, MP Sinha, BJP President Amit Shah, MP Shri Mahesh Poddar, Shri Ram Tahal Chaudhary, Minister, Urban Development Shri C.P Singh, MLA Shri NavinJaiswal, Mayor RMC Smt. Asha Lakra, Prinicpal Secretary of Urban Development department participated in Shramdaan to promote cleanliness.  A book on children’s sanitation and hygiene was inaugurated on this occasion.  The foundation stone laying ceremony for Pt. Deeendayal Upadhaya Shatabi Udyan and rejuvenation cum beautification of Karamtoli pond in Ranchi were also carried out on the same day.

As for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the nodal ministry for Swachh Bharat Mission, along with Indian Railways contributed to the spirit of Seva Diwas with a cleanliness drive undertaken in Nizamuddin Railway station in the early hours of 17th September from 6:30 to 9.30 am.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Shri Chander Prakash Ganga led a clean-up campaign in 4 railway stations in Samba District of Jammu and Kashmir.  Launched at Badi Brahmana Railway Station, the event was made possible with the support of SDRF, 12 Armed Battalion, District Police, Home Guards and Civil Defence.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar pledged to devote at least 100 hours in a year for cleanliness activities and programmes with maximum two hours per day. Parrikar said Goa would become garbage free by 2020, adding that the government has already started working towards it.

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, participated in the campaign by wielding a broom in Sarojini Nagar Market area of the national capital, while expressing serious concerns over the garbage crisis in the city.

Participating in a campaign in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that for the first time after the Independence, cleanliness is not just a matter of habit, but has become a passion under the Prime Minister’s leadership.

In the industrial city Ludhiana in the north Indian state of Punjab, the Governor participated in Kar Seva, even as Union State Minister Shri Vijay Sampla participated in Kar Seva at Hosiarpur where the film Toilet Ek Prem Katha was screened.


Participation on Day 3 of Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign
Citizens that participated 5767574
Activities completed 288538
Women that participated 255858
Students that participated 901482
Swachhta Pledges taken 3619950
Images uploaded 4434
Videos uploaded 106
Images sent 649




How Uttarakhand’s Nala GP was transformed


Uttarakhand, the land of myths and mountains, revered by some as the abode of the gods was declared open defecation free (ODF) on 22nd June 2017.  At a function organized at the state capital, Dehradun, the Chief Minister, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat attributed the achievement to collaborative community participation as also the role of gram pradhans.

Uttarakhand is home to 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages.

Speaking at the event, gram pradhan of Nala gram panchayat in Ukhimath Block of Rudraprayag District, Virendra Singh Aswal shed some light on the process that helped transform his GP.

“People travelling to Kedarnath used to pass my village with a handkerchief covering their noses.  That’s how dirty it was,” he said.   However, soon after the Prime Minister launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), he began cleanliness activities in his village with renewed vigour.

At that point of time, 110 households did not have toilets in Nala.  This meant that approximately 550 people were defecating in the open.  And that was the main reason for the unsanitary conditions, he recalled.

Even as the district administration began their awareness building and triggering exercises to focus on the need to adopt safe sanitation practices, the gram pradhan focused on the most unwilling families as he sought to bring about a change in their behaviour.

When toilet construction began, members of Self Help Groups were trained in masonry and they were engaged in toilet construction activities.  Further, Aswal requested retired defence personnel living in that village to take up early morning nigrani and request people to use their household toilets.

Expressing his appreciation to the gram pradhan among others who persevered to make the district ODF, District Magistrate of Rudraprayag, Mr. Mangesh Ghildiyal pointed to other initiatives they had taken.  The district’s ODF strategy included a road map for 2016-17 and 2017-18; identification of homes without toilets as per the baseline survey; and training of district officials such as block development officers and village development officers.

In addition, responsibilities were given to public representatives at various levels while ODF village pradhans were empanelled for training as resource persons.


In Rudraprayag, of the 53,510 families, 32,771 families did not have access to toilets.  Such families were motivated to build and use toilets through awareness building and triggering exercises.  Economically weaker families were identified and assisted with funds from MNREGA.  Regular review of the progress of MNREGA convergence with SBM-G was done.  Throughout the entire process the district administration received support from local NGOs.

The community was also sensitized through radio programmes, nukkad natak, puppet shows, songs, slogans, drama and wall paintings.  As far as school students were concerned, they were involved in the campaign through various quiz, drawing and essay competitions held at their respective schools.

Behaviour change occurring in the true sense in Bokaro

Raghav Sau, Bokaro

That behaviour change is happening in the district of Bokaro is evident with more and more people coming forward, taking the initiative to build toilets at their homes.  Rather than wait for the government or NGOs to build their toilets, people have been mobilized to take the necessary steps to procure the required material and get their toilets construction.  This is behaviour change in the true sense.

Take the example Raghav Sau, son of Damodar Sau from Dugdha North in Chandrapura Block of Bokaro who previously earned his living as a hawker.  Having lost the use of one of his legs in an accident three years ago, he was dependent on his family for all his needs.  The worst was waiting for someone to take him out to relieve himself.

So when the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin campaign was started in his village, he was totally convinced about the need to use toilets in an area where open defecation was common.  Tired of his dependence on others, it was a turning point in his life when he decided to build his own toilets.

In fact, he went a step further and got 2 toilets constructed – a western toilet for him and one for others in his family.

The district administration over the last few months has accelerated their sanitation campaign.  Last month, it provided incentives to 12 families from the Chandrapura Block who built their own toilets.  In a few weeks, as many as 15 beneficiaries will be provided incentives for building their toilets in the Kasmar Block.

However, given that almost 50 families have now come forward to build their own toilets in ‘self-mode’, it bears testimony to the fact that behaviour change is occurring.

As for Raghav, he now actively promotes the use of toilets in his village which is soon to become open defecation free.

(With inputs from ZSBP-Bokaro)

MP likely to complete construction of one lakh toilets by October-2

CM Madhya Pradesh

Setting an ambitious target for toilet construction, the State Government of Madhya Pradesh was involved in digging twin pits for a whopping 2,01,023 toilets on 17th September.  It was an exercise in shramdaan or voluntary service to raise consciousness about sanitation, led by the Chief Minister (CM), Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the occasion of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s birthday which was celebrated as Seva Divas.

The CM was accompanied by Additional Chief Secretary Shri Radheshyam Jullania and State Program Officer SBM-G, Dr Atul Srivastav who participated in digging of the pits in the districts of Raisen and Chhatarpur.  Later, he addressed the community, discussing the merits of twin pit technology and the need for safe sanitation practices.

According to Shri Jullania, the State has set a target to complete one lakh of these toilets by 2nd October this year, on target to make the entire State open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019.

The efforts to accelerate the sanitation campaign come on the heels of Indore district bagging the first place in the Cleanliness Survey of 2016.  Expressing pride with this achievement, the CM said that State would work towards retaining the top position and also ensure that all villages and cities of MP would be ODF by 2019.  Highlighting the importance of behaviour change in sanitation practices, he enlisted the cooperation of all people to use the toilets built, while acknowledging that plastic remained a problem that needed urgent address.

Also speaking on the occasion, Mayor, Smt. Malini Gour explained that effective systems such as segregation of garbage, door to door garbage collection, waste management as well as cooperation by all sections of the society had helped Indore attain the number one position in the cleanliness survey.

Cleanliness champions including social activists, trade organizations and sarpanchs were honoured on the occasion.

Meerut set to become ODF by October-2

Meerut contingent1

Activities pertaining to the Swachh Bharat Mission have picked up pace to such an extent in the Meerut District of Uttar Pradesh that the entire district and all its 482 gram panchayats are set to become open defecation free (ODF) by October 2, 2017, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Over the last few months multifarious activities have been carried out – in schools and among communities at both village and district levels.

According to Principal of PP Karkoda No.1 School, Rajnish Sharma, they could count on children to take forward the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) campaign.  “Once children are convinced of the need to use toilets and understand the link between safe sanitation and health, they are able to convince not only their parents but also the entire village,” he said.  In his school that conducts classes from grades 1-5 and has strength of 172 students, there are two toilets for girls, two for boys and one for staff members.

Assistant teacher of PP No.2 Pehrora School, Tasreef Ali has been responsible for triggering communities from as many as 27 villages.  The concept of Izzat Ghar (House of Dignity) was his focus as he motivated families, conveying to them the health benefits of safe sanitation practices.  His efforts led to 70 new students being admitted to his school in Machhra Block.

Further, community approach to total sanitation (CATS) was used extensively to trigger communities, according to village development officer of Jaani Block, Sanjeev Giri.  He related instances of women being video-taped during open defecation and blackmailed.  Toilets could ensure their safety.  “We also demonstrated how open defecation led to disease, highlighting facts backed by scientific research and cleared all their doubts,” Giri said.

Gram Pradhan of Adhera Village, Manju Sivaj explained that their former District Collector, Ms. Chandrakala was their source of inspiration.  “When she joined our nigrani samiti and participated in early morning follow-up at 4 AM, how could we not do the same?” she asked.  Many of us women joined in the ‘Mahan Meerut’ campaign and as we visited homes, we vowed not to rest until our village was declared ODF, she added.

Children helped immensely as they went through the lanes chanting slogans such as – “Bandh karo bhai bandh karo, kule me tatti bandh karo,” and “Jo kule me tatti jayega, jo apne tatti kayega.”

Village Development Officer of Block Rajpura, Sashi Kumar Sharma talked at length about the challenges they were able to overcome.  Initially people did not want toilets to be a part of them homes, fearing smell; and they were unwilling to accept twin pit technology.  Once they got around this initial hesitation, they trained scores of masons and held successful campaigns such as 10,000 toilets in 20 hours.  Their efforts bore fruit when they made 44 villages ODF in a month.  Today, of the total 482 gram panchayats, 114 have been made ODF.  “We are confident of making Meerut ODF by October 2nd,” Sharma said.