(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Building Clean & Healthy Villages [NOVEMBER-2018]


(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Building Clean & Healthy Villages

[NOVEMBER-2018]


Building Clean & Healthy Villages

Our country lives in her villages and only when the villages are developed, the country is possible. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the present Government is committed to all round development would remain unfulfilled without making rural India clean. The government is making all out efforts to bring about large scale development in the villages and cleanliness is the most important component of it. If the villages are not clean then the development of the villages will remain incomplete. Many innovative efforts are being made which have transformed or they are in the process of transforming the lives of the crores of people living in rural areas. An initiative that has made marked contribution in changing the quality of life of rural people is the Swachh Bharat Mission. The objective of Swachh Bharat Mission, launched by Honorable Prime Minister on October 2, 2014, is to make human life cleaner, healthier and dignified. Cleanliness is not only life-force but also the cornerstone of human development. No community and society can be successful sans cleanliness. The goals related to education, health, poverty alleviation, human development etc. cannot be achieved in the absence of cleanliness. Cleanliness also contributes significantly in the economic development of the nation. Honorable Prime Minister had given a clarion call for building Clean India in his first Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort. He accorded national priority to cleanliness. While launching Swachh Bharat in New Delhi, the Prime Minister had said that it is out social obligation as the citizen of India to fulfill Gandhi ji’s vision of Clean India in the year 2019 on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.

Today 22 states, 468 districts and more than 4 lakh 68 thousand villages in the country have became open Defecation Free (ODF). Since October 2, 2014, more than 8.59 lakh individual household toilets have been constructed. On October 2, 2014, the sanitation coverage was 38.70 per cent and currently it is 93.90 per cent. Such a huge progress has not been seen anywhere in the world in the field of hygiene and cleanliness. This great effort of India has presented a unique example before the world about how the nation can be enthused and inspired on the issue of social concern. Today, inspired from this program of India. Many countries of the world are planning on this pattern to improve their sanitation conditions.

Clean Village: Healthy Life

Swachh Bharat has transformed the face and destiny of the village today. Studies have revealed that in every house of Open Defecation Free village, about 50,000 rupees are being saved because the family is saving on the expenditure otherwise being incurred on treatment of various diseases. The rural families are utilizing this savings to acquire new amenities and facilities, to provide better education to the children, and to improve their standard of living. People’s health related expenses have come down and they are able to work for more days. According to a study by the World Health Organization, with the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, every year we have successfully prevented a large number of children to become victims of the deadly diseases in rural areas and the situation is continuously improving. Swachh Bharat has also led to certain unique initiatives in rural areas that have never been seen before. Women associated with Self Help Groups have made commendable contributions in the cleanliness movement. They have invested their saving in cleanliness related works and thus played an important role in making the environment and surroundings beautiful and clean. Women members of Self Help Groups have extended financial help to many families who were trapped in the financial help to many families who were trapped in the financial crisis. Self Help Groups have also helped in strengthening social harmony through many efforts of mutual cooperation. Our Panchayat representatives have also shown commendable interest in Swachh Bharat Mission.

SBM: Mass Movement now

Swachh Bharat Mission has now acquired the form of a mass movement and with the aim to take it forward, the Rural Development Ministry has taken a number of measures through its ambitious scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act- MGNREGA. This includes awareness promotion among the village panchayats towards cleanliness in the rural areas and encouraging and training villagers to take up activities related to livelihood creation. The Ministry is engaged in construction of Individual household toilets and soakage pits, solid waste management (Vermi/ NADEP compost pits) , works related to solid and liquid waste management (drainage channel, liquid bio-compost, recharge pots, toilets in schools and Anganwadis soakage channels, village drains, construction of water stabilization ponds and water conservation works to make used grey water useful. It is being emphasized that every village Panchayat becomes, a clean Panchayat. In present time, management of the waste water is a big challenge for the whole world. Whether it is rural area or urvan, the lack of planning and infrastructure for waste water management leads to unclean life situations. It causes spread of diseases and infections. In this connection, we are happy to inform that for waste water management in Telangana state soakage pits are being constructed through MGNREGA at family and community level. In the same way in Nanded district of Maharashtra, MGNREGA funds were utilized for making soakage pits which had helped in the villages to get rid of mosquitoes. The scheme was implemented in about 30 villages.

The main objective is to ensure proper disposal of waste water in rural areas and to clean the environment of the village by ensuring better living conditions. Ariad Gram panchayat in Mathilakam block of Thrissur district of Kerala has started a project to produce construction material. The cement- concrete block fabricated under this project were used for MGNREGA works like construction of individual household toilets. Under MGNREGA scheme, vermicomposting units are also being constructed.

MGNREGA Funds for Rural Cleanliness:

Substantial amount of MGNREGA funds are being spent on the activities related to rural cleanliness and the result have come out as anticipated. During the Financial Year 2014-15, Rs. 92435 lakhs have been spent on the construction of individual household toilets through this scheme. During the last financial year, the expenditure was more than Rs, 13,935 lakhs. On the construction of soakage pits, the expenditure was more than Rs, 15598 lakhs during the last financial year as compared to Rs. 2938 lakh for the financial year 2014-15. During the financial year 2014-15, 1676 lakh rupees were spent on solid waste management by way of constructing vermin/ NADEP compost pits while more than 54853 lakh rupees were spent last year on these works. During the financial year 2014-15, 49512 lakh rupees were spent on solid and liquid waste management works like drainage channels, liquid bio fertilizer, recharge pits, school and anganwadi toilets, soakage channels, village drains and stabilization ponds. As compared to this, in financial year 2017-18 more than 85221 lakh rupees were spent on these works. About 4,71,230 lakh rupees were spent on water conservation works in financial year 2014-15. However, as compared to this amount 6,92,216 lakh rupees were spent in financial year 3017-18. In all works related to cleanliness, 6,17,792 lakh rupees were spent in financial year 2014-15, 6,98,357 lakh rupees in 2015-16 and 9,87,822 lakh rupees in 2017-18. During the current financial year also about 5,93,070 lakh rupees have been spent till now on all works related to cleanliness. This way, a substantial amount of MGNREGA funds have been spent or being spent in activities related to overall cleanliness of rural areas.

All these facts and data clearly indicate that the present government is focused on the development of rural areas and making the villages clean in every respect. For the development o the villages, country’s lifeline in true sense, Ministry of Rural Development is making concerted efforts to ensure overall cleanliness in the rural areas. This is an aspect which cannot be ignored. MGNREGA, the country’s most ambitious scheme being implemented by the Ministry of rural Development, has understood its importance and thousands of its success stories have proved that the citizens of our country have become aware of the importance of cleanliness in village and they are resolving to make rural India clean and maintain cleanliness in the villages.Role of Panchayats in Cleanliness:

The village panchayats are not only focusing on cleanliness through individual household toilets now but also taking steps to clear waste through vermicomposting pits. Panchayats are playing critical role in the maintenance of clean environment by taking up activities like drainage channels, liquid bio fertilizer, recharge pits, school and anganwadi toilets, soakage channels, village drains and stabilization ponds under the implementation of MGNREGA. However, considering the diversity of the villages in the country, it should be kept in mind that no one model of sanitation can be adopted for all 238617 Gram Panchayats in India. Yes, we have to focus on developing such measures which are easy to adopt, economical and have minimum technical limitations. MGNREGA’s revolutionary initiative to make rural India clean and its effective implementation by the present government has started to show constructive result.

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