The Ministry of Jal Shakti arranged a spectacular celebration Friday evening in New Delhi to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements made by women change makers under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G). More than 475 women from all over the nation attended the event, which had the dual goals of encouraging policy dialogue and productive partnerships in order to advance the sanitation industry as well as commemorating accomplishments.
The event saw a vibrant dialogue between the participants and key dignitaries, including the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and the Minister of State of Jal Shakti, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Jitendra Srivastava, Joint Secretary & Mission Director, SBM-G, welcomed the participants, commending the women change makers for their transformative efforts in the sanitation sector.
Srivastava provided an update on the progress of the SBM across the country, highlighting the imminent shift of more villages to the ODF Plus Model category. The ODF Plus Model villages sustain their Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, incorporate solid and liquid waste management, and maintain a visually clean environment.
Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), set the context of the event, emphasizing women’s empowerment and their role as leaders and changemakers in various sectors, including SBM-G. He stressed the need to improve waste management systems and encouraged continued public participation for comprehensive cleanliness.
The event also showcased “Swachhata Shakti: Stories of women transforming India’s sanitation at the grassroots,” paying tribute to the outstanding work of these dedicated women.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat acknowledged the success of SBM, citing the construction of over 11 crore toilets and the declaration of more than 5 lakh villages as ODF Plus. He emphasized the long-term nature of the SBM-G mission and called on women changemakers to help create a culture of sanitation and community ownership for SBM-G assets.
Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar applauded the collective efforts of women from diverse backgrounds, stating, “The unity in diversity makes my belief stronger that with your dedication and hard work, India will present an example to the world in sanitation.” He urged women to embrace technology solutions, collaborate with communities, and support each other through self-help groups (SHGs) to continue shaping the nation’s cleanliness mission.
In his concluding remarks, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat urged all change makers to share their experiences with their communities and inspire them to adopt environmentally friendly and economically viable sanitation practices. He expressed confidence that the event had motivated participants to continue their dedicated efforts, paving the way for a ‘Sampoorn Swachh Bharat.’