Jaipur, Making rapid strides in sanitation, the desert State of Rajasthan is all set to achieve the goals of Swachh Bharat Abhiyanvery soon by making a successful transition from counting toilets to the Open Defecation Free (ODF) gram panchayats through a district-wide approach with the effective engagement of all stakeholders and use of appropriate technology to take the movement to each and every household.

In this epoch-making task, UNICEF-Rajasthan has been working closely with the State Government, civil society organizations and communities to address sanitation challenge in tribal areas of Rajasthan since 2010 for the benefit of most vulnerable children and women. Moreover, UNICEF is working to ensure that women are directly involved in the planning and management of water supply and sanitation programmes, and that hygiene promotion interventions are specifically designed to reach women and girls.
As part of Swachh Bharat Mission, 74.25 % of households in the State are already covered with toilets and as many as 4,377 of the 9,892 gram panchayats, 44% in percentage terms, are self-declared ODF.
UNICEF-supported programmes also strive to address the inequities suffered by women and girls related to water and sanitation services. While separate toilets for girls in schools have led to improvement in retention of girls after primary level, Rajasthan has achieved a mark of being second in India with regard to functionality and use of girls’ toilet as per ASER-2016 report, which has been released recently.
Besides, water and sanitation facilities in health centres particularly with labour rooms complimented by appropriate hygiene practices have contributed in infection control in the health facilities significantly.
Women have played a crucial role in this movement, as the personalities ranging from Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje and Director, Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) to the women Collectors and field functionaries across the State have led this movement. From mere one in four families having toilet to more than half of the households having toilets as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission, Rajasthan has made a significant progress on the sanitation coverage front.
यह भी पढ़िए :प्रभारी मंत्री की मौजूदगी में करौली विधायक ने सांसद पर लगाए रिश्वत खोर के आरोप
For keeping the villages clean and safe, an ambitious Mukhya Mantri Swachh Gram Yojana is being launched in 2,000 gram panchayats by dovetailing it with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). It will espcially be beneficial for the tribal-dominated districts in view of the availability of the NREGS workers.
The State Government has also issued guidelines for executing the works under the solid and liquid waste management with the formulation of different projects. This will facilitate tranfer of additional funds ranging from Rs. 7 lakhs to Rs. 20 lakhs from the Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) to the gram panchayats.
For showcasing the achievements and to spell out the challenges and opportunities in the future, a film on tribal sanitation, titled “ODF With Equity” has been produced. The film is expected to work at two levels – firstly, motivating and inspiring remote rural and tribal communities to achieve ODF by overcoming challenges, and secondly, working as a tool for advocacy to achieve ODF Rajasthan by reaching out to remote, socio-economic vulnerable tribal communities in the State.
The film highlights the challenges faced in tribal areas in terms of lack of availability of water and challenges in transportation of construction material and maintenance of units and also demonstrates possibilities in addressing the challenge through the narrations of diverse stakeholders, focus on community approach and emphasis on the use of appropriate trigger tools, including the health impact, children as change agents, addressing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) issues, availability of water, transportation through alternate modes and using the existing social platforms.
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