New Delhi: Hardeep Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has stressed on the need for having new strategies and progressive urban policy for ensuring economic and social inclusion of our cities. While inaugurating a DeenDayalAntyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission(DAY-NULM) National Workshop on Swachhata, he hoped that this will provide innovative solutions and learnings through key practices from the States which will open up new possibilities for creating more inclusive and open urban economies. Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Mission Directors, award winners from various States and several stakeholders were also present at the workshop.
Dwelling on the aims and objectives of DAY-NULM, the Minister said that elimination of poverty, attainment of inclusive economic growth, productive employment and gender equality are the main aims of DAY-NULM. The Self-Help Groups (SHGs), mainly of urban poor women, and their Area Level Federations have emerged as strong grassroots institutions with the potential to trigger change in the urban development discourse.
A total of 57 awards were distributed by the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister to the ALFs from 21 states and UTs. Out of these 12 were conferred the first prize of Rs. 1,50,000 each, 20 ALFs-the 2nd prize of Rs. 1,00,000 each and 25 ALFs-the 3rd prize of Rs. 50,000 each.The award winning ALFs were presented a shield and a citation in recognition of their achievements. Besides this, the three national level awards were also given to the best performing ALFs. The first award was secured by Sri Sai Teja Slum Samakya from Siddipet, Telangana, 2nd prize to Sri ALF from Khunti, Jharkhand and 3rd prize to Sambhaji ALF from Hingoli, Maharashtra.Providing details of the awards presented here today, the Minister informed that the Swachhata Excellence Awards were instituted by the Ministry in July 2017 with an objective to recognize and encourage Area Level Federations (ALFs) for their initiatives in sanitation sector including elimination of open defecation, bringing out behavioural change towards healthy sanitation practices, creating awareness about sanitation and its linkage with public health, modern and scientific solid waste management. States have submitted nominations for awards out of which award winning ALFs have been selected. “I am glad to see the ALF representatives here to receive the awards. Under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM-U) a large sanitation infrastructure has been created. There is a need for resources to manage and maintain this infrastructure. DAY-NULM has the capacity to provide skilled workforce to fulfil the demand which has been generated in urban sanitation sector. The DAY-NULM and SBM-U Convergence Guidelines navigate towards creating livelihoods in the sanitation ecosystem. It encompasses upgraded livelihoods; by way of formal jobs as well as enterprises in the sanitation sector by responding to the rapidly rising demand for skilled workforce in the sanitation sector. The guidelines can be adopted by states for implementation”, he added.
During the event a convergence guidelines highlighting the convergence models between the two national flagship missions viz. DAY-NULM and Swachh Bharat Mission was also released by the Minister. This event is an endeavor to encourage ALFs to excel in their initiatives pertaining to Swachhata which is an objective of Swachh Bharat Mission. Also, this event is a platform to share several such successful models amongst wider stakeholders for learning and replication.
Explaining the key strengths of the Scheme, Shri Puri stated that DAY-NULM recognizes the need to focus more on market demand driven training programs for the urban poor. The Livelihoods Mission understands the criticality of access to affordable finance for micro entrepreneurs. The Ministry is moving towards a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode based centralized platform for transfer of interest subsidy to beneficiaries, which is available on bank loans for the urban poor. This will ensure that the subsidy reaches the beneficiaries in a timely manner with greater transparency. Both banks and states will also benefit with the process of interest subsidy being eased out.
The Minister appreciated the active participation from the ground with the SHGs playing a lead role with most of them being women. “The model of empowering local communities has globally proved to be highly effective in implementing development projects. The Mission should continue to nurture more such institutions as they can best identify local problems, develop best ways to address them, and create the best mechanism for implementation of solutions”, he stated.