In support of the Swachhata Pakhwada campaign under the Swachh Bharat Mission, WaterAid India organised several events in three of its intervention districts in Madhya Pradesh. The events aimed at addressing implementation of the campaign, as well as spreading awareness on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The total outreach spanning Sehore, Dindori, Datia and Budhni encompassed 258 villages including 142 schools, and had a total outreach of 33,550 men, women, and children.
On October 2, the second anniversary of the Swacch Bharat Mission and the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, people were mobilised in a fortnightly cleanliness drive in Gram Sabhas to address issues on functionality of piped water supply scheme.
Based on a survey across the Gram Sabhas, the Public Health and Engineering Department of Madhya Pradesh formulated an action plan for reinitiating a defunct piped water supply scheme across the three districts. It is estimated that the effort will also have positive consequences on increasing sanitation efforts through toilet usage as water scarcity is a predominant concern in the villages.
On 15 October, large scale handwashing activities were organised at schools, aanganwadi centres and health facilities. Other allied activities carried out through the month were Ratri Choupals, morning and evening follow ups, orientations of frontline workers, and staff at Public and Community Healthcare Centres on water, sanitation and hygiene. At the choupals, communities and district/block officials interacted with each other to mutually exchange updates on ongoing interventions. A signature campaign was also launched to raise awareness among people on the importance of hand hygiene.
In Uttar Pradesh, eight districts were targeted for celebrations of the Swachhata Pakhwada campaign. All events had the involvement of the district administrations with the presence of district magistrates, Chief Development Officers, Assistant District Officers and District Public Relations Officers, besides other government officials. Events such as rallies, human chains, large scale cleaning campaigns, video screenings through Swacchata Vans, torchlight rallies, Ratri Choupals, street theatre and magic shows were organised in communities and schools. The Swacchta Vans are a relatively new concept to encourage community interaction. The vans were engaged in screening movies on hand hygiene, sanitation, menstrual hygiene management, followed by discussions.
More than 10,000 school children, and more than one lakh individuals in the communities of 98 Gram Panchayats were reached through the efforts in Kushinagar, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Lucknow, Mahoba, and Banda.
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