(The Gist of Kurukshetra) SWACHHATHON: HARNESSING THE CREATIVITY OF MILLIONS FOR SWACHH BHARAT - December -2017


(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 solutions.

Swachhathon 1.0

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:
• Affordable
• Scalable
• Socially acceptable
• Easy to use
• Accurate

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:
• Scalable
• Non-coercive
• 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.

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