Governor launches ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’: J&K declared ODF; 1.1 million toilets constructed in 4- years
Srinagar, Sep 15: Governor, Satya Pal Malik launched the “Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS)” Programme for J&K, a fortnight long program (till 2nd October) for public awareness and involvement of community, in a function held at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre. On this occasion the State was self declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the Governor. Governor congratulated the State Administration for their efforts in making the State 100% Open Defecation Free. He observed that due to sustained efforts of all stakeholders, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved 100 per cent toilet coverage and has become Open Defecation Free (ODF), one year in advance. All the 22 districts, 4,171 Gram Panchayats and 7,565 villages in the state are self- declared ODF as per Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) SBM (G) guidelines. Governor observed that apart from constructing 1.1 million Individual Household Toilets (IHHLs) and 1350 Community Sanitary Complexes in the state, Swachh bharat Abhiyan has played a vital role in bringing about behavioural change in the people. Governor emphasised the high importance of cleanliness in ensuring over all well being of our family and community and expressed concern for the women folk who suffer from health ailments due to lack of toilet facilities at our homes. He observed that cleanliness generates a positive frame of mind which is crucial for making us lead a purposeful life. He cited example of Mahatma Gandhi who had a rule in his ‘ashram’ for self cleaning of toilets and noted that all religions and philosophies of the world have emphasised importance of cleanliness and hygiene for the overall health of individuals and societies. Governor noted that contribution of common people is the main driving force behind achieving such remarkable targets. He hoped that people like Sonam Wangchuk, an education reformist, Cricketer Manzoor Dar, and Singer Sonali Dogra, who are associated with this movement as its Barnd Ambassadors will inspire people to contribute towards making our State clean. Reiterating his resolve for ensuring all round development of the State, Governor observed that one of the priorities of the Governor’s Administration would be ensuring cleanliness of all the water bodies and lakes, cities, towns and villages of the State and formulating a sustainable solid and liquid waste disposal programme. He noted that his Administration will ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity during festivals and examinations. Governor expressed his concern over non-availability of avenues to youth for pursuing their hobbies and showcasing their talents. He observed that he is working with IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla on the idea of having an IPL team for J&K and noted that very soon IPL matches will be played in J&K. He also reiterated his commitment for strengthening sports infrastructure in the State with construction of Stadiums in all districts having state of the art facilities. Governor remarked that the Raj Bhavan is open to everyone whosoever wishes to register his grievances. Governor released a book on State ODF Declaration- “The Journey – The Milestone”. SBM-G Scheme Anthem sung by Ms. Sonali Dogra was also released on the occasion. The Deputy Commissioners and District Panchayat Officers of all the districts were felicitated on the occasion. Sh. Durga Shankar Mishra, Union Secretary Housing and Urban Affairs, Sh. B.B. Vyas, Sh. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai- Advisors to Governor, Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, lauded the efforts of the Rural Development Department in achieving the target making the State OFD well before the given timelines. Ms. Sheetal Nanda, Secretary Rural Development Department presented an overview of SBM-G Scheme and ODF Declaration process. Ms. Indu Kanwal Chib, Mission Director SBM-G, J&K presented a brief about the SHS. Senior Officers, Officers of Rural Development Department, District Development Commissioners, District Panchayat Officers, Zila Swachh Bharat Preraks, members of UMEED-self help group and RDD field functionaries were present on the occasion.