OREANDA-NEWS. The union Minister for Urban Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a consultative workshop on Scaling Up Citizens’ Participation in Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) {SBM(U)} to a 'Jan Andolan' in New Delhi today. The two day workshop is being organised jointly by Ministry of Urban Development and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

On the occasion, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that with the participation and involvement of all the stakeholders, the SBM will transform rapidly into a full-scale ‘Jan Andolan’ of citizens. Shri Naidu said that, in India, there are different culture, different tradition, different languages and different habits, which poses a huge challenge in communicating to the masses. He said that, this workshop will help to share ideas, experiences and also to know the good practices which will help to bridge the gaps in SBM.

Shri Naidu said that the Mission has reached a new heights in its journey and pointed out some of the inspiring examples, like

  • A doctor couple from Chalapalli district have been undertaking cleanliness drives in their surroundings every day of the year.
  • A 104-year old lady in Ahmedabad devotes her time selflessly to educating shopkeepers against littering.
  • Women and girls are taking a stand against marriage into families without toilet facilities.
  • Celebrity icons are coming forward to contribute their time and efforts to the cause of the SBM.
  • Highly qualified professionals are giving up lucrative careers to devote time and efforts to ‘swachhata’-related technology and services,
  • Media houses are devoting programs and channels to the cause of SBM.
  • Religious leaders and monks are devoting time and energy in motivating followers and volunteers to take up cleanliness drives.
  • Corporates are building in ‘swachhata’ related initiatives as part of their business practices
  • RWAs are proactively taking up decentralized composting and waste management initiatives
  • School children are becoming more aware of the concept of cleanliness and motivating their parents to adopt sanitary habits and practices.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that all these instances and along with some of the initiatives, such as the Swachh Survekshan, thematic drives with citizen participation, engaging students and Self-Help Groups to be the drivers and change agents for social behaviour change, engaging nearly 20,000 swachhagrahis across the country to motivate communities to stop open defecation, intensive PR and social media campaigns being run continuously to engage with citizens to trigger and sustain their motivation to participate in cleanliness drives, reinforces the fact that citizens are becoming active participants.

The Minister said that, along with these initiatives, the creation of infrastructure is also important, be it construction of individual and community / public toilets, facilitate waste processing into value-added products, setting up technology-enabled collection and transportation systems for solid waste, setting up waste-to-compost and waste-to-energy plants for waste processing.

Shri Naidu said that 122 cities have achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status so far and a total of 739 cities will achieve ODF status in this financial year. He said that three States – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala have committed to be 100% ODF by March 2017. The Minister said that 21 lakh individual household toilets and 90,000 community and public toilet seats have been constructed so far and another 21 lakhs individual household toilets and 1.4 lakh community and public toilet seats are under construction.