Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) today launched the seventh consecutive edition of Swachh Survekshan (SS), the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey conducted by Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM -U) in New Delhi. Designed with “People First” as a driving philosophy, Swachh Survekshan 2022 is designed to capture city initiatives for the general well-being and well-being of frontline sanitation workers. The survey, flavored with the spirit of Azaadi @ 75, will also prioritize the voices of seniors and young adults and strengthen their participation in preserving the cleanliness of urban India.
The sudden onset of the pandemic brought unprecedented challenges in the areas of public health, sanitation and waste management. However, what stood out was the tireless sense of duty that sanitation workers demonstrated to keep urban India safe during this time. In order to recognize and honor the contributions made to the nation by the silent army of sanitation workers, the government has pledged to focus on their holistic well-being. SS 2022 incorporated specific indicators that spur cities to improve working conditions and livelihood opportunities for these frontline soldiers in the sanitation journey of urban India.
It is symbolic that the seventh edition of the world’s largest urban sanitation survey coincides with the start of celebrations for the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. In keeping with the theme of Azaadi @ 75 and to pay homage to the wisdom of the elderly, SS 2022 will aim to collect feedback from the elderly as part of the survey. To ensure a diversity of voices, SS 2022 will also reach out to the young adults who are the future leaders of the country and of the Swachhata movement. In addition, the survey aims to protect India’s ancient heritage and culture by inspiring citizens to own and take the initiative in cleaning up monuments and heritage sites in urban India.
With this launch, MoHUA is also launching the weeklong celebrations of “Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”. Continuing its theme “People First”, SBM-U will organize a series of citizen-centered activities under the general theme of “Jan Bhagidari”. During this week, citizens of urban India will participate in a series of targeted campaigns to renew their commitment to the cause of cleanliness. Campaigns such as “Kachra Alag Karo” aim to strengthen the practice of source separation which is the cornerstone of effective waste management. At the same time, in accordance with the theme “From waste to wealth”, citizens’ exhibitions will be organized in all cities. The week will also see Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and communities recognize and praise citizen leaders, waste entrepreneurs, Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), etc. for leading Swachhata into their environment. Special ceremonies will be held to salute the courage of sanitation workers who have been at the forefront of efforts against COVID-19.
The Mission also undertakes to engage permanently with citizens to improve the quality of infrastructure and public sanitation services. To this end, the “Sarvajanik Shauchalay Safai Jan Bhagidari Utsav” will be facilitated to assess the quality of community and public toilets and collect citizens’ feedback for process improvement in the future.
Introduced by MoHUA in 2016 to rank cities by cleanliness parameters in 73 cities, Swachh Survekshan has today become the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey covering more than 4,000 ULBs. The Survekshan framework has evolved over the years and has become today a unique management tool that accelerates implementation at the field level to achieve sanitation results. The fact that the latest edition of the SS 2021 survey was carried out in record time despite the challenges on the ground posed by the pandemic and received more than 5 crores of comments from citizens once again testifies to the ownership of the citizens towards the goal of “Sampoorna Swachhata”. The cities are now impatiently awaiting the results of this, which will be announced shortly by the ministry.
This year’s Survekshan pledged to create a level playing field for small towns by introducing two population categories under 15K and between 15-25K. To further expand Survekshan’s footprint, district rankings were introduced for the first time. The scope of the survey was broadened to now cover 100% of sampling services, compared to 40% in previous years. In order to complete this ambitious exercise, SS 2022 will see more than double the number of assessors deployed last year for the field assessment. In line with the Honorable Prime Minister’s vision of a digital India, the next edition of Survekshan will usher in enhanced technological interventions such as digital document tracking, sanitation geolocation and facility waste management for better efficiency, and the QR code. based on citizen feedback for increased awareness of people. Thanks to these multifaceted initiatives, the SS 2022 framework will propel the Mission towards a circular economy approach thanks to an optimal recovery of resources.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Puri said that the Swachh Bharat mission is an important and transformative program of the country which has succeeded through the involvement of all stakeholders at the local level. He said the Honorable Prime Minister is the catalyst to convert Mahatma Gandhi’s vision into reality by leading from the front and converting it into a popular movement. The Minister said that the road to this success is not easy, but today we not only achieved ODF status but also achieved solid waste management. Millions of Indian citizens are associated with the movement and it is getting stronger and stronger. The Minister said that Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 will be launched by the Honorable Prime Minister on October 1. He expressed his confidence that after SBM 2.0 our cities will rank among the best in the world.
The MoS, MoHUA and Shri Kaushal Kishore said the Swachh Bharat mission had gained popular support and raised awareness. The cleanliness provided by the Mission has helped the country successfully cope with the Pandemic. He said the Safai Karamcharies acted as corona warriors and the government took care of their interests as well. The Minister called on citizens to fully participate in all initiatives and to discharge their duties with sincerity.
Along with the launch of SS 2022, MoHUA has also released a tabletop book titled “A Change of Heart” which features inspiring stories of individuals and communities and demonstrates the significant impact of the will and commitment of people to lead the change in the chapter of the cleanliness of urban India. A short film, “Swachhata Se Samriddhi”, which presents the milestones of the last seven years of Swachhata’s journey, was also shown on this occasion.
Along with SS 2022, MoHUA also reported on the field assessments of the Safaimitra Suraksha challenge launched a year ago. Once again, the Challenge is another MoHUA initiative to empower sewer and septic tank cleaners whose job is to tackle several safety issues on a daily basis. The Challenge aims to help cities move towards the mechanization of sewers and septic tank cleaning operations as well as to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety kits for workers in the event of entry. manual under unavoidable circumstances. In one year, this exercise enabled the capacity building of more than 8,500 Safaimitras, in partnership with the National Safai Karmacharis Finance and Development Corporation and the Sector Skill Council for Green Jobs, and also facilitated their financial empowerment by disbursing more than 8 , 51 crores. the equivalent of a loan to Safaimitras for the purchase of cleaning equipment.
The day also saw the launch of the revamped version of the Swachhata app, MoHUA’s digital remediation grievance platform introduced in 2016 and which has reinvented the way in which employee grievance is handled. citizens. The app has resolved over 2 million citizen complaints to date with active citizen engagement. This new version will take civic engagement to the next level by allowing people to identify yellow dots (public urine), research and assess service levels in public toilets, and validate their city’s progress in reduction of vulnerable points to waste and access to public sanitation facilities.
The event was webcast live and brought together over 1,000 government officials and sector partners at state and city levels. The program was attended by Shri Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State, MoHUA, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, and other senior officials from central and state governments, and other stakeholders.
Over the past seven years, the Mission has reached every corner of the country and changed the lives of countless citizens with a focus on “people first”. The mission revolutionized the sanitation space in urban India by building over 70 lakh of household, community and public toilets. The Mission prioritized the needs of women, transgender communities and people with disabilities (Divyangs). Moving forward, the Mission is embarking on the path of sustainable sanitation with more than 3,000 cities and more than 950 cities certified ODF + and ODF ++ respectively. Cities are also making progress towards Water + certification, which involves the treatment of wastewater and its optimal reuse. The emphasis on scientific waste management is evident, with waste treatment in India having more than quadrupled from 18% in 2014 to 70% today. This was facilitated by 100% door-to-door garbage collection in 97% of neighborhoods and segregation at the source of waste practiced by citizens in letter and spirit in 85% of neighborhoods. Most importantly, the Mission was able to make a significant difference in the lives of sanitation workers and informal waste workers. The active participation of 20 million citizens (comprising over 50% of India’s urban population) in the program has succeeded in transforming the Mission into a popular movement, a true Jan Andolan. The launch of SS 2022 set the stage for the launch of the next phase of the Mission with “People First” as a guiding principle.
(With inputs from GDP)