The Curtain Raiser program of Swachhathon 1.0 was organised in the city on August 21. It was organised by Mission Directorate, Swachh Bharat Gramin (Assam). The event which was held at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara was organized with the objective to crowd source ideas for some of the pressing problems related to Sanitation and Hygiene in the state.
The event started with the lamp lighting ceremony by VB Pyarelal, Additional Chief Secretary, PHED in presence of Siddharth Singh, Mission Director, SBM (G) along with VK Pipersenia, Chief Secretary.
The state level event received participation from all over the state that were selected after the Swachhathon 1.0 contest was organised at the district level. Participants presented innovative and viable solutions on various topics such as Monitoring Usage of Toilets, Triggering Behaviour Change, Toilet Technologies in Difficult Terrains, Working Solutions for Maintenance and Operations of School Toilets, Technological Solutions for Safe Disposal of Menstrual Waste and Solution for Early Decomposition of Fecal Matter. All the participants were presented a participation certificate by VK Pipersenia and VB Pyarelal.
In his welcome address, Singh said, “Swacchathon 1.0 is an initiative to bring different innovative ideas in order to make Assam an ODF state within this year. I am glad to announce that our target was to provide sanitation facilities to 8.5 lakhs families, but we have already exceeded our target by providing all the facilities to 10.4 lakhs families. Interestingly, we are heading towards the post ODF stage, that’s called ODF+. We are happy that Nalbari and Kamrup Metro have been declared as ODF districts and very soon we expect Chirang and Sivasagar to be added to the same list.”
“This is a great initiative by Mission Directorate (SBM-G). I hope this initiative will be able to give a sustainable solution to make Assam ODF by the estimated time frame. For achieving our goals, it is not sufficient to construct the toilets only; we also need to create awareness on its use and maintenance actively” added Pyarelal.
On the occasion, VK. Pipersenia also launched the trailer of a movie called ‘Ajanite Mone Mone’ based on Swacchata, produced by Swachh Bharat Mission and directed by Upakul Bardoloi. This movie is scheduled to release on Gandhi Jayanti this year. On concluding the event, he said “I think we still have a long way to go. Just by building toilets and talking about it won’t make us reach our goals. We need to focus on combating behavioral and psychological aspects as well.”
The Government of Assam is conducting Swachhathon 1.0, a Swachha Bharat Hackathon as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) to supplement Government of India’s vision to make India Open Defecation Free by 2019. The implementation of this programme is monitored by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India at the National level and done by the Public Health Engineering Department, Assam in the State.