Swachh Swasth Sarvatra launched in Delhi
Swachh Swasth Sarvatra, an inter-ministerial joint initiative between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was launched in New Delhi yesterday.
The Union Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda, Union Minister, Ministry of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar, and Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer were present at the launch event which commemorated Good Governance Day 2016.
Another joint initiative, Swasth Bacche Swasth Bharat, between Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development was also launched on the occasion.
The objective of the Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative is to build on and leverage achievements of two complementary programmes – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Kayakalp, a programme of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, respectively.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has declared over 700 blocks as Open Defecation Free (ODF). Community Health Centres (CHCs) in ODF blocks of the country will be allocated Rs 10 lakhs under National Health Mission (NHM) to focus on sanitation and hygiene.
Under the Kayakalp, one Primary Health Centre (PHC) in each district is awarded for meeting quality standards including sanitation and hygiene. Under the SBM, the Gram Panchayat in which the PHC which gets awarded under Kayakalp for that district will be noted, and special focus will be given to make it ODF at the earliest.
Speaking at the launch event, the Union Minister Nadda said that this initiative would be a very important step towards convergence of various government schemes and programmes. He said that by merging the goals of Swachh Bharat with his Ministry’s focus on health, the two will be able to move the needle from hospital care to healthcare, i.e. from treatment of diseases to prevention of diseases by focussing on improved overall health.
Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, Ministry of Human Resource Development, also spoke about the power of children as change agents. He said that Swachh Bharat focusses on mindset change – which does not need any big technological or infrastructural intervention – but a focused behaviour change campaign. He said that educated children will be the best agents to spread the message of sanitation to their parents. By focusing on children, he said, Swachh Swasth Sarvatra will lead to an ODF India by 2019.
Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, spoke about the progress made by SBM so far. He said that over 70 districts, over 700 blocks, and over 1.3 lakh villages of the country have achieved ODF status so far, and many others are very close to the target. He highlighted convergence across Ministries undertaken to launch Swachh Swasth Sarvatra as the perfect example of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s message to make SBM a jan aandolan, i.e. sanitation as everybody’s business. He said that another collaboration is underway between Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Human Resource Development for focused action in the sector of school sanitation.
CK Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, spoke about how, the small cost of focusing on clean, sanitary and hygienic health centres in the country, will lead to huge health benefits in terms of avoidable communicable diseases through the initiative. He also lauded the commitment and dedication shown by SBM and health functionaries at grassroots, who are working on the frontlines to bring about this revolution in the country.