(The Gist of Kurukshetra) SWACHHATHON: HARNESSING THE
CREATIVITY OF MILLIONS FOR
SWACHH BHARAT - December -2017
SWACHHATHON: HARNESSING THE CREATIVITY OF MILLIONS FOR SWACHH BHARAT
Swachhathon 1.0- A Swacggata Hackathon was organized by the Ministry of
Drinking Water and Sanitation to crowd source innovative ideas to solved the
sanitation related problems (including hygiene) being faced by the country and
also to incubate the ideas to develop sustainable solutions. The initiative saw
massive participation; over 3000 entries (including international enties) were
received under 6 categories that included ‘Operation and Maintenance of School
Toilets’, ‘Behavior change communication’, and often forgotten issues of ‘MHM’.
In the spirit of a Janandolan both public and private sector came together –
students from schools and colleges, professionals, organisations, startups,
NGOs, State governments proposed exciting, innovative, novel and viable
What: An attempt to crowd source solutions for some of the pressing
problems faced by the country in Sanitation and Hygiene. Students from schools
and colleges, professionals, organisations, startups and others were invited to
come up with exciting, innovative, novel and viable solution for:
• Monitoring usage of Toilets.
• Triggering behavior change.
• Toilet Technologies in difficult terrains.
• Working solutions for maintenance and operations of school toilets.
• Technological solutions for safe disposal of Menstrual Waste.
• Solution for Early Decomposition of faecal Matter.
Why: It was envisaged to address real problems being faced by the people in
attaining complete sanitation. The problems ranged from implementation
challenges, to those arising due to diversity in cultural and geographical
context. It was thought that such problems from ground level can only be
addressed through innovations, ground level up. And then only then can be termed
as real and sustainable solutions to real problems.
Monitoring Usage of Toilets
Usage of toilets is the key goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. Toilet
usage is presently measured on a sample basis through household surveys. There
is however no technological solution available to measure and confirm usage of
toilets. The ability to easily measure usage of toilets would allow the Swachh
Bharat Mission to take immediate and responsive steps to promote usage.
So, technological solutions were invited: adaptable for rural areas to
effectively measure usage of toilets and ingrained with following features:
• Socially acceptable
• Easy to use
The solution could be either a technology or a technique or a combination of the
two to monitor usage.
Triggering Behaviour Change
Behaviour change is fundamental to the Swachh Bharat Mission. Several
interpersonal techniques through community approaches to sanitation are being
used across the country to trigger behaviour change. But old habits die hard and
behaviour change takes time. Some people continue to defecate in the open even
after having a household toilet.
The Swachh Bharat Mission invited innovative solutions to trigger and
motivate people to stop open defecation and use toilets, at scale. The solutions
were expected to be:
• Socially acceptable
• Yield instant or immediate shift in behaviour
Again, the solution could have been in form of a technology, demonstration,
technique, pictures, combination of things and others.
Courtesy : Kurukshetra