New Delhi : As part of the ‘World toilet Day’ celebrations, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is launching a week long awareness campaign on SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) from November 14th to 20th November 2021 to run up to the ‘Swachh Amrit Diwas’, an award ceremony to recognize the role and efforts of the states, cities, ULBs and Cantonment Board in Swachh Survekshan 2021, and Garbage Free Star Rating certification on 20th November, 2021
A total of 246 cities are participating in SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) which is being conducted across the country. Through this challenge it is aimed to encourage cities to mechanise their sewer and septic tank cleaning operations in order to prevent deaths and fatalities of sanitation workers from ‘hazardous entry’. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) on the occasion of World Toilet Day (19th November 2020) with the objective of eradicating the practice of hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and promote mechanized cleaning of the same. On the launch of Swachh Surveskhan 2022, MoHUA also flagged off the field assessments for the SSC. As per the timelines for the Challenge it was launched with toolkit on 19th November 2020 and the preparatory period for it was from 20th Nov 2020 to 30th Sep 2021 and the evaluation was done in October 2021.
A range of awards and monetary incentives across population categories has been decided for the Challenge, as given below:
|Sub-Categories (population)||1st prize||2nd prize||3rd prize|
|10 lakh||Rs 12 Crores||Rs 6 Crores||Rs 3 Crores|
|3 – 10 lakh||Rs 10 Crores||Rs 5 Crores||Rs 2.5 Crores|
|Upto 3 lakh||Rs 8 Crores||Rs 4 Crores||Rs 2 Crores|
|Total||Rs 52.5 crores|
Further, two top performing States / UTs will be recognized through Citation + Shield, and cities adjudged 4th and 5th in each population category will also be recognized.
Under the SSC campaign several initiatives have been undertaken like Loan Melas. Under SSC, National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, supported by MoHUA are organizing Loan Melas across the country to help Safaimitras avail loans under the Swachhata Udyami Yojana (SUY) for procurement of sewer/ septic tank cleaning machine/ equipment for mechanized cleaning. 26 Loan Melas have been conducted till date whereby a total of ₹6.73 crores of loans have been disbursed to 74 Safaimitras for procurement of sewer septic tanks and sanitation machines.
Skill Development Trainings of Safaimitras have also been conducted through the support of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment via NSKFDC in 115 cities, across the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. under Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge. This intensive training module is based on the ‘Recognition of prior learning’ (RPL) model, comprising theoretical and practical sessions which are being conducted by affiliated training providers of Sector Skills Council for Green Jobs. These trainings are specially designed for Safaimitras working in the field of Sewer and Septic Tanks Cleaning. Till date, 9,200 Safaimitras have already completed training, across 115 cities.
Under Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC), Call Centre and Helpline number for safe cleaning have been operationalized in 345 cities with ‘14420’ helpline number till date for safe cleaning of septic tanks/sewers & registering complaints on hazardous cleaning. 31 States/UTs have established with Responsible Sanitation Authority (RSA) and 210 cities are having the Sanitation Response Units (SRU). All 246 participating cities have already notified ban on single-use plastic (SUP).
MoHUA has also designed standard uniform designs for different categories of sanitation workers across urban India. These include Swachhata Commandos (sanitation workers engaged in underground cleaning of sewers and septic tanks), Safaimitras (engaged in road sweeping and waste collection) and Swachhata Supervisors/ Operators. The designs have been developed with support from NIIFT, Mohali and NIFT Gandhinagar and specifications have been rolled out to States and ULBs to prepare and distribute the uniforms as per the approved designs.