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Total sanitation remains a distant dream in Cachar villages

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

Silchar, June 20: Time and again many questions have arised regarding the success of Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan as the scerio relating to cleanliness seems to differ in every state.

From a baseline survey it have been found that a larger section of the people in the Cachar district are still using open space for defecation as the coverage of Total Sanitation Campaign(TSC) now known as Swaccha Bharat Mission(SBM) in the district of Cachar is found to be in a very poor condition.

According to some local sources of the village, major discrepancies have been seen in the beneficiary selection process under the scheme. Large number of people in the district with much better living condition and already having toilets have been found to be benefitted under the scheme but many BPL families are deprived off their right.

The absence of close monitoring mechanism at the block, district and panchayat level is one of the reasons for such poor performance of the scheme in the district.

To ensure the success of the scheme, greater emphasis has been laid by the government by inviting various CSOs, NGOs and PRIs to take active role in the implementation process of the scheme.

Moreover, the success of Swaccha Bharat Mission is to a greater extent is related with behavioral change of human and hence changing people’s attitude towards sanitation has been the biggest challenge faced by the government in this regard.

In this context the Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs and various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can play an important role in creating awareness and imparting hygiene education among the local population.

Assam being one of the states in which the Panchayat Act was ected immediately after independence through passing of the Assam Rural Panchayat Act, 1948. The state had a traditiol system of local self-government in different mes and forms even before that. The state has been taking drives to strengthen the Panchayat system, which is very important in the context of the highly plural society with different ethnic and linguistic groups that exists in the state.

Involvement of Panchayati Raj Institution, NGOs, Village level Monitors (Swacchata Doots /Sanitation Magers), and field functiories like Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), angadwadi workers, school teachers, and volunteers to carry out field level activities can have a substantial impact on Swaccha Bharat Mission (Gramin). Moreover there is also provision for “Social Audit” for continuous and comprehensive public vigilance of the programme.

PRI at panchayat and district level may also play an active role in the identification of the beneficiaries under the schemes, as it has been seen that many a times greater embezzlement occurs in the beneficiary selection process because of which the eligible beneficiaries are often deprived off their rights.

Moreover the PRIs, CSOs and NGOs may also be involved in monitoring and in following up delays in sanctions and disbursement if the disbursal of benefits under, the schemes is disbursed in public meetings such as Gram Sabha meetings in rural areas and in neighborhood/mohila committees in urban areas.

Thus target of cleanliness for ensuring a clean and hygienic India cannot be achieved by government functiories alone without the cooperation of the general public.

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