The Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer, made a one day visit to Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, to assess the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in the State. He started the day by visiting a village in Guntur district and interacting with villagers and school children. This was followed by a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh and other State officials. Along with the Chief Secretary and State team, he also interacted with the District Collectors through video conference.
The State Government apprised that a few districts in the State are on their way to becoming open defecation free (ODF) within the next few months. The District Collectors shared many good practices such as emphasis on ODF achievement rather than focus only on individual toilets, creation of district brands (such as Atmagaurav in Nellore), deployment of Nigrani Committees in villages, engagement of natural leaders, involvement of students, involvement of SHGs etc. It was discussed that a mechanism may be put in place for strengthening grass root level motivators and engaging communities more closely. An eye also has to be kept on technology of toilets. The CEO of SERP (Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty) also participated in the discussions and shared views on how women SHGs can be involved more closely with Swachh Bharat.
The Secretary also held a one to one meeting with the Chief Secretary, earlier in the day. (NSS)