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Actor Aamir Khan conferred the Swachhata Darpan Awards to the best performing districts on key swachhata parameters at a workshop ODF (open defecation free) Sustainability, organised by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in New Delhi on Sunday.
The awardees include East Godavari (Andhra Pradesh), West Kameng (Arunachal Pradesh), Bemtara (Chhattisgarh), Diu (Daman and Diu), Panipat (Haryana), Vadodara (Gujarat), Kolhapur (Maharashtra), Moga (Punjab), East Sikkim (Sikkim) and Pedappali (Telangana). Four districts – Dibrugarh (Assam), Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Puri (Odisha) – were also awarded for innovations and initiatives for plastic waste management.
Aamir Khan then interacted with the gathering of district collectors, deputy development commissioners among other officials from selected states. Khan lauded the work done at the grassroot level by the officials and shared his experience with initiatives made by his Paani Foundation in the area of water conservation. The officials shared best practices from their districts for promoting ODF Sustainability goals and explore areas for future initiatives with the actor.
Addressing the gathering, Secretary DDWS, Parameswaran Iyer, congratulated state representatives for their commendable work and leadership in improving sanitation access in rural areas in past five years leading to ODF declaration of India on October 2, 2019 under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen (SBM-G). He emphasised the need to keep the momentum going and ensure that any gap which may have been left on the ground must be identified and addressed. He said that the SBM-G must ensure that no one is left behind and the objectives of the programme are now moving forward with overall cleanliness in villages with solid and liquid waste management (SLWM).
The workshop included presentations by two district collectors on key themes for ODF Sustainability: Information, Education and Communication (IEC); and Community Toilets.
Peddapalli district collector presented on the role of IEC towards promoting ODF Plus and Sustainability. The presentation highlighted important IEC initiatives in the district like Mana Swachhata, Mana Gouravam under which screening of popular SBM-G films along with cultural events is done across gram panchayats in Peddapalli district. Muzaffarpur district collector presented innovative initiatives taken by the district administration for the construction of community toilets to address any household which may be left behind in the access to household toilet, and to ensure universal sanitation access in the district.