GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - The curtain raiser of Swachhathon 1.0, organised by the Mission Directorate of Swachh Bharat Gramin (Assam), took place at the Assam Administrative Staff College here on Monday.
The event was organised with the objective to source ideas for some of the pressing problems related to sanitation and hygiene in Assam.
It was attended by Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Additional Chief Secretary (Public Health and Engineering Department) VB Pyarelal and SBM (G) Mission Director Siddharth Singh.
Pipersenia launched the trailer of a movie called Ajanite Mone Mone based on cleanliness produced by Swachh Bharat Mission and directed by Upakul Bordoloi.
The movie is scheduled to be released on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.
�I think we still have a long way to go. Just by building toilets and talking about them will not make us reach our goals. We need to focus on combating behavioural and psychological aspects as well,� said the Chief Secretary.
Speaking on the occasion, Pyarelal said, �This is a great initiative by Mission Directorate (SBM-G). I hope this initiative will be able to give a sustainable solution to make Assam open-defecation-free (ODF) by the estimated time frame. For achieving our goals, it is not sufficient to construct the toilets only. We also need to create awareness on its use and maintenance actively.�
In his speech Singh said, �Swachhathon 1.0 is an initiative to bring different innovative ideas in order to make Assam an ODF state within this year. I am glad to announce that our target was to provide sanitation facilities to 8.5 lakh families, but we have already exceeded our target by providing the facility to 10.4 lakh families. We are happy that Nalbari and Kamrup Metro have been declared as ODF districts and very soon we expect Chirang and Sivasagar to be added among the same list.�
The State-level event witnessed participation of 98 individuals from all over the State who were selected during the Swachhathon 1.0 contest at the district level.
The participants presented solutions on various topics such as monitoring usage of toilets, bringing about behaviour change, toilet technologies in difficult terrain, working solutions for maintenance and operation of school toilets, technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste and solution for early decomposition of faecal matter.
The State government is conducting Swachhathon 1.0, a �Swachh Bharat Hackathon�, as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) to supplement the Centre�s vision to make India ODF by 2019.