Swachh Yug campaign to make villages located along Ganga Open Defecation Free

There are 5,169 villages located along Ganga falling under 1,651 gram panchayats (GPs) in 52 districts of five states - UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from where the holy river flows through.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016, 00:40 AM IST

New Delhi: As part of its efforts to make villages located along Ganga open defecation-free, Government has launched a campaign 'Swachh Yug', a collaborative effort of three Union Ministries, to bring about behavioural change among people staying in villages along the holy river.

There are 5,169 villages located along Ganga falling under 1,651 gram panchayats (GPs) in 52 districts of five states - UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from where the holy river flows through.

The Union Ministries of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Water Resources and Youth Affairs are working on the campaign in a collaborative manner, an official statement said on Monday.

As part of the campaign, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, under the coordination of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, will enlist support of youth agencies such as the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Nehru Yuva Kendras and National Service Scheme.

These organisations will be called upon to provide a large number of local youth volunteers to support a behaviour change campaign in the 52 districts under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the statement said.

To take this initiative forward, a nodal officer has been identified for each district to work on making area under their jurisdiction open defecation free (ODF) in a "mission mode" as well as to focus on cleanliness at village through proper solid and liquid waste management.

"In addition to monetary incentive offered by government under Swachh Bharat Mission, extensive interpersonal behaviour change communication training will be given to local trainers through a network of virtual classrooms across the five states," the statement said.

As part of the same, the first virtual classroom will be launched tomorrow in 12 districts of Bihar, where five-day training will be provided to 50 youth volunteers in each location, connected to the trainer virtually.

"The training will be a mixture of a classroom interactive component, as well as a field visit component. Youth volunteer organisations will assist in these districts through massive local youth involvement," it said.

The districts and states have been assured of full support from Central government in these efforts.

The state teams have, in turn, expressed their enthusiasm for and commitment towards the initiative, the statement said.