Rural sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat crosses the 85% mark

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the largest behavior change programme in the world, the rural sanitation coverage of India has now risen to 85%. Through the mobilization of rural communities, 7.4 crore toilets have been built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

This is significant because, under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), sanitation coverage has increased to more than double the coverage at the time of the launch of the Mission.

A recent survey conducted by an Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages has found the use of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%. Two independent surveys conducted in the past by the Quality Council of India in 2017, and National Sample Survey Organization in 2016, have pegged the usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively. This success has been achieved due to the difference in approach to sanitation adopted by the Swachh Bharat Mission in comparison to previous sanitation programmes in the country.

The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone. The SBM’s emphasis on behavior change in rural sanitation at the grassroots also leads to rigorous verification and sustainability of the benefits accrued to rural communities under the progress made. The SBM is a people’s movement, a true jan Andolan, and it is this people’s participation that has led to the success being witnessed under the Mission. The Mission is on track to achieve an ODF India by October 2019.

The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone.

The aim of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is to achieve a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October, 2019.

To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.

To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2019.

To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.

To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.

To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.

To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities.

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‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ helps girls rejoin schools in J-K village

In the far-flung area of Kot Ranka village in Rajouri district, many school dropout girls are now rejoining the schools under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ awareness campaign.

The teachers of schools in Kot Ranka village said that ‘number of girls in school has gone higher than boys.’

The main reason for girls dropping out from schools was because they belong to the financially weak ST category population in this remote area.

However, under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme, every facility is being provided to these girls, from books to uniforms and a free of cost schooling for the improvement of the education system in far-flung areas.

Many teachers also personally met villagers to make them understand the importance of education and tell them about the benefits of various governments’ education schemes.

About BBBP:

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January 2015. The scheme is aimed at promoting gender equality and the significance of educating girls.

The Scheme is targeted at improving the Child Sex Ratio through multi-sectoral interventions including prevention of gender-biased sex selection and promoting girls’ education and her holistic empowerment.

It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.

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Record 77% increase in sales of TRIFED

Due to the massive drive of scaling up the retail marketing activities by TRIFED, the value of Sales has increased from Rs. 11.37 crores in 2016-17 to Rs.20.08 Crores (provisional) during 2017-18, a record increase of 77% and a record sale in the history of TRIFED.

TRIFED is an apex organisation at National Level and functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

TRIFED is serving the interests of Tribals, who are engaged in collection of NTFP and making of Tribal Art & Handicraft Products for their livelihood so as to ensure better remunerative price for their products as well as for the socio-economic betterment through Self Help Groups, Empanelled NGOs, State level Tribal Development Corporations, Forest Development Corporations for undertaking marketing development of the tribal products.

It also organizes exhibitions like National Tribal Craft Expo called “Aadi Mahotsav” etc. in which it promotes and markets tribal products.

 

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Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan from MP

On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district to launch the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan at Ram Nagar on Tuesday.

The scheme will focus on training, building infrastructure and stepping up initiatives for e-governance under the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project.

About Gram Swaraj Abhiyan:

“Gram Swaraj Abhiyan” is being organised from 14th April to 05th May 2018.

The campaign, undertaken under the name of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas”, is to promote social harmony, spread awareness about pro-poor initiatives of the government, reach out to poor households to enrol them as also to obtain their feedback on various welfare programmes.

As a special endeavour during the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, saturation of eligible households/persons would be made under seven flagship pro-poor programmes in 21,058 identified villages.

The programmes covered are Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Saubhagya, Ujala scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Mission Indradhanush.

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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

Launching the ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ here on Saturday, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said the number of LPG distribution points in the State will be increased to 1,000 from the existing 707 for quicker and efficient delivery of gas cylinders.

About the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aims to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.

Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG connection with a financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.

Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Some of the objectives of the scheme are:

  • Empowering women and protecting their health.
  • Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
  • Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • Preventing young children from a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.

About 75 crore Indians, especially women and girls, are exposed to severe household air pollution (HAP) from the use of solid fuels such as biomass, dung cakes and coal for cooking. A report from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare places HAP as the second leading risk factor contributing to India’s disease burden.

According to the World Health Organization, solid fuel use is responsible for about 13% of all mortality and morbidity in India (measured as Disability-Adjusted Life Years), and causes about 40% of all pulmonary disorders, nearly 30% of cataract incidences, and over 20% each of ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and lower respiratory infection.

PMUY has been a revolutionary initiative that has transformed the lives of more than 3.57 crore households spanning across the length and breadth of the country. The initiative is in line with Governments aim to eradicate energy poverty, thereby promoting economic empowerment.

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POCSO e-Box

National Council Of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) has published the information regarding Childline (1098) – 24×7 Helpline for children and POCSO E-box on the back side of the front cover of all the course books from class 6th to class 12th.

To equip the children with the information regarding the possible modes of protection/complaints, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had requested Ministry of Human Resource Development and NCERT to publish this information. In a telephonic discussion last year, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi had requested Shri Javadekar to popularize POCSO e-Box and Childline 1098 through NCERT publications, screening of educational films on child sexual abuse in the schools and having strict norms for employing the support staff.

The information in the form of these books will also be available to 10 lakh teachers teaching through NCERT books along with the family members and to the caregivers of these children. The percolation of such useful information directly up to the last mile is expected to create an environment of child safety and empowerment in the country.

About POCSO Act:

Being concerned about offences against children, the Government enacted POCSO Act, 2012 to protect them from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process.

This is achieved by incorporating child-friendly mechanisms for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.

Any human being up to the age of 18 years is recognised as a child under the POCSO Act.

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Aspirational District Programme

Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) has charted a plan to promote micro-enterprises in 115 aspirational districts across the country to contribute to their development. The bank has tied up with Common Service Centre (CSC) to meet this objective.

‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ was launched in January with an aim to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts in the country.

The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement.

This will converge the central and state schemes, collaborate central, state and district collectors to strengthen these districts by identifying the low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress and then rank the district by getting the data on a real-time basis.

Selection of backward districts:

The 115 districts, including 35 affected by left-wing extremism, were selected on parameters like deprivation (extent of landless households), health & nutrition (institutional delivery, stunting of children and wasting in children), education (elementary dropout rate and adverse pupil-teacher ratio) and infrastructure (un-electrified homes, lack of toilets, villages not connected by road and lack of drinking water).

The significance of the scheme:

With states as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.

Under the programme, identified districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch-up with the best district within their state, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others.

India cannot grow at a high rate on a long run until these districts catch up, whatever high is the GDP number, it has no meaning until the benefit of growth percolates down to very basic level. Ensuring progress in areas facing the most severe challenges and improving conditions in remote and rural regions are prerequisites for India to reach the next stage of its economic and human development.

Through its massive scale and innovative use of data, the aspirational districts programme (ADP) will help India move towards its goals.

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WHO Directives Call For Support For Breastfeeding

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a new 10-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding in health facilities that provide maternity and newborn services, which provide the immediate health system platform to help mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour and breastfeed exclusively for six months.

Breastfeeding all babies for the first 2 years would save the lives of more than 8,20,000 children under age 5 annually, noted a release issued by the WHO.

The guidelines describe how hospitals should have a written breastfeeding policy in place, required staff competencies, and antenatal and post-birth care, including breastfeeding support for mothers.

It also recommends limited use of breast milk substitutes, rooming-in, responsive feeding, and educating parents on the use of bottles and pacifiers, and support when mothers and babies are discharged from the hospital.

Breastfeeding saves lives. Its benefits help keep babies healthy in their first days and last well into adulthood.

But breastfeeding requires support, encouragement and guidance. With these basic steps, implemented properly, we can significantly improve breastfeeding rates around the world and give children the best possible start in life.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that in many hospitals and communities across the world, the question whether a child can be breastfed or not can make the difference between life and death.

The significance of Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding is an important efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health. Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths. Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed, which are two leading causes of death in children under-five years of age. In addition, children who were not breastfed are at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, allergies, asthma, childhood leukaemia, sudden infant death syndrome etc. Apart from mortality and morbidity benefits, breastfeeding also has a tremendous impact on improved IQ.

To intensify the efforts further for the promotion of breastfeeding, the Health Ministry has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on the promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.

The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & interpersonal counselling at the community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.

Under this programme, ASHA has been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication. ANMs at all sub-centres and health personnel at all delivery points are being trained for providing skilled support to mothers referred to issues related to breastfeeding.

Under NHM, funding support has been recommended for all States and UTs for successful implementation of the MAA programme.

 

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Satyagraha se Swachhagraha

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will address 20,000 Swachhagrahis in Motihari, East Champaran district of Bihar. The event is the culmination of a weeklong “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign run in Bihar from 3rd April onwards. At this event, associated with the clarion call “Chalo Champaran”, the Prime Minister will also award ten Swachhagrahis who have performed outstandingly in their villages. Chief Minister of Bihar and Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation will also be present at this event. In addition to addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister will also inaugurate new initiatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Namami Gange in Bihar.

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagraha over a century ago, on 10th April 1917, to give the country free from foreign rule. April 10th, 2018 marks the end of the centenary year celebrations of the Champaran Satyagraha and is going to be celebrated through the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign, which is aimed at achieving freedom from filth.

To commemorate this landmark, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in coordination with the Government of Bihar, is working to spread the message of Swachhata across the country by initiating the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign, from 3rd to 10th April.

About Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin:

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin, launched on October 2, 2014, by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, is the largest behaviour change campaign ever attempted in the field of sanitation in the world. It aims to build an ODF (Open Defecation Free) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

India is witnessing a sanitation revolution with the number of people in rural India, practising open defecation having fallen from 55 crores in October 2014 to 20 crores by April 2018. Sanitation has been proven, by various independent studies, to have a positive economic as well as health impact on families in rural India.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), 6.7 crore toilets have been built, 3.5 lakhs villages and over 360 districts, and 14 States and UTs have already been declared ODF. A recent survey conducted by an Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages has found the rural toilet coverage to be 77% and the usage of these toilets to be 93.4%. The progress is accelerating every day and the Mission is on track to achieve an ODF India before October 2nd, 2019.

About the Champaran Satyagraha:

It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar. Mahatma Gandhi went there in April 1917 on learning about the abuses suffered by the cultivators of the district, forced into growing indigo by British planters/estate owners.

Even Gandhi was reluctant to commit himself to task in the beginning. But he was so thoroughly persuaded by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator from Champaran that he decided to investigate into the matter.

Gandhi’s method of inquiry at Champaran was based on surveys by the volunteers. The respondents who willingly gave statements should sign the papers or give thumb impressions.

For those unwilling to participate, the reasons must be recorded by the volunteers. The principal volunteers in this survey were mostly lawyers like Babu Rajendra Prasad, Dharnidhar Prasad, Gorakh Prasad, Ramnawami Prasad, Sambhusaran and Anugraha Narain Sinha.

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Van Dhan Vikas Kendra

Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas.  The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income. It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter-gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend a major portion of their time. This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs has taken a number of initiatives for socio-economic development of tribals like introduction Forest rights Act, PESA Act and have been implementing schemes for development of MFP by providing financial support to State TDCCs and TRIFED for market development of MFPs. Recognizing the critical importance which MFP hold for tribals and its potential to create large-scale employment opportunity thereby, helping in reducing poverty and increasing empowerment of tribals particularly women and poor people of the poorest and backward districts of the country, Govt. of India has introduced an ambitious scheme of “Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support price (MSP) and development of Value chain for MFP”.

The scheme was started with the objective of providing a fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. The MSP scheme seeks to establish a framework to ensure fair prices for the produce collected by them, assurance of buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc while ensuring sustainability of the resource base. It is a holistic scheme for development of MFP trade and covers 24 MFPs.

Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach. Three stage value addition would be the cornerstone for enhancing incomes of the tribals under the scheme. The grass root level procurement is proposed to be undertaken through SHGs associated with Implementing Agencies. Convergence and Networking with other Govt. departments/scheme shall be undertaken to utilise the services of existing SHGs like Ajeevika, etc.  These SHGs shall be appropriately trained on sustainable harvesting/collection, primary processing & value addition and be formed into clusters so as to aggregate their stock in tradable quantity and linking them with a facility of primary processing in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has approved the establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” on a pilot basis for the establishment in Bijapur  District of Chhattisgarh State for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. This first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being implemented for the training of 300 beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs 43.38 lakhs for training, providing equipment & tools for primary level processing and infrastructure & building for housing the Kendra.

TRIFED has assigned the work for the establishment of this pilot Vikas Kendra in Bijapur District of Chattisgarh to CGMFP Federation and Collector, Bijapur would be the coordinating force. The selection of the tribal beneficiaries and formation of the SHGs has been undertaken by TRIFED and the training is scheduled to start from 10th April 2018. To start with Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being established in a Panchayat Building so that the primary processing can be commenced by the SHGs. The Kendra will be shifted to its own building once the same is ready.

The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be an important milestone in the economic development of tribals involved in the collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide a sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.

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