Telangana won the first prize under the Large States category under Swachh Survekshan Gramin (SSG) 2022 which looked into the sanitation status of rural areas, Haryana was adjudged the second and Tamil Nadu the third. Giving away the awards on Sunday, President Droupadi Murmu said that the Swach Bharat Abhiyan that had brought in a wholescale behavioural change in the populace acted as a shield during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Swachh Survekshan Gramin-2022 award ranks States and districts on the basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) parameters and engagement of the rural community in the improvement of their sanitation status. Among the smaller States and Union territories, Andaman and Nicobar secured the first position followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Sikkim.
“Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin is a movement to bring in behaviourial change in our populace. The use of toilets, the habit of washing hands with soap and having water supply via taps acted as a shield for the country during the pandemic,” Ms. Murmu said.
The President noted that since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin in 2014, more than 11 crore toilets have been constructed and about 60 crore people have given up the practice of open defecation. Ms. Murmu also informed that the Government of India was implementing the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, which was launched in 2020 and aimed to make all six lakh villages in the country `Open Defecation Free Plus’. “Having achieved success against open defecation, we now have to address more complex and technical problems like solid and liquid waste management,” she said. Since the beginning of the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, more than 1.16 lakh villages have declared themselves as `ODF Plus’ and the work of solid and liquid waste management has also started in about three lakh villages.
“Having achieved success against open defecation, we now have to address more complex and technical problems like solid and liquid waste management”Droupadi MurmuPresident of India