New Delhi : The Minister of State, Jal Shakti Ministry, Prahlad Singh Patel presided over the e-launch of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase -II at an event organized by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) today. The event was attended by Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, JalShakti Ministry, Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, DDWS, other DDWS officials, media persons and virtually bysenior SBMG officials from States/UTs.
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) will undertake Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 countrywide to support acceleration of ODF Plus interventions and increase momentum for improving ODF Sustainability as well as Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM)activities across the villages in the country. DDWS had commissioned Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG)on two occasions earlier in 2018 and 2019.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister of State, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel said that under the inspiring leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his strong will power, India achieved the massive challenge of ODF declaration of all villages in mission mode in five years (2014-19). Shri Patel said that the 75thanniversary celebration of India’s Independence or Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav has started this year with the symbolic Dandi Yatra. The greatest Swachhata Ambassador ever, Mahatma Gandhi said that Cleanliness is more important than freedom highlighting its significance in our lives.
The Minister of State highlighted that the initiative of undertaking SSG during Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is a very significant step and states are the biggest stakeholders in this. Patel said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always stressed on the strength and importance of Swachh Bharat Mission in changing millions lives. The vision of Prime Minister made the unbelievable task of triggering Behavior Change for ending open defecation leading to construction of over 10 crore toilets and achievement of Open Defecation Free (ODF) India. The vision further led to Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for addressing water security. As Swachhata is an eternal journey, the Phase II of SBM (G) aims at achieving the goal of comprehensive cleanliness or Sampoorna Swachhata by addressing ODF Sustainability and SLWM issues.
The Minister of State added that the findings of the Survey by a third party agency will help us in bridging the gaps by identifying challenges on ground and working with all states. The citizen feedback will strengthen the program further. The SSG 2021 mobile App will also be made available in major local Indian languages. The survey will be well monitored and complimented with frequent field visits.
The Minister of State, JalShakti also released the SSG 2021 Protocol document; SSG 2021 Dashboard and the mobile App for Citizens feedbackat the launch event. A detailed presentation on SSG protocol and survey implementation was also made at the launch.
Shri Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti in his keynote address said that Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for Swachh Bharat in 2014 and a National behavior change movement was launched whose two primary yardsticks were Transparency and people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari). Following these yardsticks, the programme succeeded in achieving its goal of ensuring access to safe sanitation to all in rural India. SSG was conducted in 2018 and 2019 to measure the success of the programme in context of the goals set; now the importance of SSG has assumed significant importance in Phase 2 of SBMG for promoting commitment to cleanliness, transparency and people’s participation. The survey will also help us in coming over the challenges due to Covid pandemic in recent time and achieve ODF Plus status by our villages in near future.
Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, DDWS, Ministry of Jal Shakti in his welcome address said that the past experiences of SSG has shown that it fosters a very healthy competition between districts and States to improve their rankings. The Surveskshan provides us a great opportunity to give the necessary momentum to ODF Plus activities especially due to unexpected slow down due to covid pandemic over last few months. One of the country’s largest such survey with around 17,475 villages, it not only gives huge publicity to the programme and ODF Plus goals, but at the same time engages districts and states in enhancing their reputation in sanitation, overall cleanliness and waste management.