In Rajasthan, over 15 lakh students have written letters to their parents requesting them to build toilets in their households. This was a chain reaction triggered by the “Swachhta Pakhwada” (fortnight) organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). The Pakhwada saw mandatory participation of all Central ministries to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, HRD, said, “The students in Rajasthan, like in other states, participated in the Pakhwada and led cleanliness drives, among other awareness activities, on their school premises. But the idea that we were aiming for was to bring about a behavioral change. Once the students were made aware of the importance of the Swachh mission, they took it forward to their elders by writing letters requesting them to practice similar swachh habits at home as well.”
The HRD ministry claimed to have provided 4,14,496 gender segregated (male and female) toilets across 261,400 government schools across the country.
To document the success of the “Swachhta Pakhwada”, Indian Institute of Delhi (IIT-D) published a brochure highlighting the work done during the fortnight by IITs, NITs, IISER and other organisations under HRD. Speaking at a press conference in Delhi, Prof. V.Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT-D, proudly talked about the research and development activities carried out by students in IIT-D to revolutionise the cleanliness war in the country. Prof Rao said, “The students at IIT-D have developed a water-less toilet that is now being used across the campus. The water-less toilet uses a membrane technology that segregates the bacteria with the help of chemicals. The technology is openly being used on campus and all curious minds are welcome to visit our premises and see it for themselves.”