The Southern Regional Review Meeting on Sustainability of the outcomes of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) was organized in Chennai today. The States/UTs of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu participated in the review.
In his inaugural address, the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, said that with the achievement of an ODF India would lead to the beginning of the next chapter of Swachh Bharat – sustaining the momentum through continued toilet usage and focus on solid and liquid resource management. He underscored the need to focus on various aspects of sustainability such as continued communication campaigns, engagement of Swachhagrahis, capacity building of personnel, and periodic verification on the ground.
During their presentation, the team from Tamil Nadu shared best practices like the “Toilet Report Card” which households, schools and agnanwadis are encouraged to maintain to encourage toilet usage in a sustained manner. Ms R Sathy, National Award winning school teacher from the State highlighted the Kutti Commandos, a band of primary school children who undertake awareness rallies to encourage good sanitation practices.
The team from Karnataka shared that they are aiming to declare the State ODF on World Toilet Day this year, i.e. November 19 2018. They spoke about a communication campaign called Swachha meva Jayate under which they are already working towards sustaining the ODF outcomes.
State officials from Andhra Pradesh highlighted a unique instance where the casualties in a recent cyclone in Srikakulam district of the State were limited due to sustained use of toilets by households in the ODF State rather than going out to the open.
Other senior officials taking part in the review were Shri Akshay Rout, Director General (Special Projects), Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Hans Raj Verma, ACS (RD AND PR), Government of Tamil Nadu and Mission Directors of all participating States/UTs.