Mon, 02 Oct 2023

New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry in collaboration with the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, launched the 'Swachhata Hi Seva' (SHS) campaign on Friday.

The fortnight campaign, initiated as a prelude to Swachh Bharat Diwas (Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti), will run from September 15 to October 2, aiming to commemorate nine years of the 'Swachh Bharat Mission', read the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs press release.

SHS-2023 was inaugurated in a virtual ceremony by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh.

During the event, officials from different cities, including Leh, Ladakh; Pimpri, Maharashtra; Meerut, Uttar Pradesh; and Lakhimpur, Assam, shared their cities' best practices in Swachhata-related activities, read the press release.

Addressing the launch event, Puri highlighted the significance of the 'Swachh Bharat Mission.'He emphasized that the Swachhata mission had prioritized marginalized and vulnerable sections of urban areas, uplifting and empowering the urban poor.

The'Swachhata Hi Seva' fortnight seeks to engage millions of citizens across the nation through various activities, including the Indian Swachhata League 2.0, 'SafaiMitra Suraksha Shivir,' and mass cleanliness drives.

The event witnessed the launch of a video on SHS-2023, along with the unveiling of the campaign's logo, website, and portal. Additionally, logos for the "Indian Swachhata League (ISL) 2.0" and "Safaimitra Suraksha Shivir" were introduced, along with the "Citizens' Portal", read the press release.

Speaking about the Swachh Bharat Mission and the launch of SHS 2023, Puri hailed the mission's transformative impact.

Puri said,"By building 73.62 lakh toilets (67.1 lakh individual household toilets and 6.52 lakh community and public toilets), we have provided dignity and health to millions of urban poor".

"95 per cent wards in India have 100 per cent door-to-door collection of waste. More than 88% of the wards have source segregation of waste. This was possible because the Swachh Bharat Mission evolved to become a 'Jan Andolan' instead of a typical sarkari programme", he added.

He recalled that when the Prime Minister announced the Swachh Bharat Mission on August 15, 2014, achieving such a massive transformation was unimaginable, read the release.

Despite India's poor sanitation performance, the country successfully achieved the Open Defecation Free (ODF) target within five years, with all 4,884 urban local bodies (ULBs) in India now ODF.

Puri further announced the extension of the urban component of the mission through the Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0) until 2026.

SBM-U 2.0 aims to make all Indian cities 'Garbage Free' and address legacy dumpsites. It covers various aspects, including Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), Waste-to-Energy plants (WtE plants), construction and demolition waste management, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plants, scientific landfill sites, and the remediation of legacy waste, read the release.

The 'Swachhata Hi Seva' campaign's theme for 2023 is 'Garbage Free India,' with activities planned to ensure a visibly higher level of cleanliness across local bodies, and welfare initiatives for sanitation workers. The campaign aims to involve government ministries, PSUs, state governments, local bodies, and citizens in massive cleanliness drives, awareness campaigns, and welfare programs.

As India enters this new phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the nation is poised to renew its commitment to cleanliness and hygiene, striving towards the vision of a cleaner and healthier India, the release said. (ANI)

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