Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharati on Sunday said that with the present rate of sanitation coverage in Jharkhand, the state will become Open Defecation Free (ODF) on its upcoming foundation day, on November 15. About ten thousand swachhagrahies (ambassadors of cleanliness), Ganga volunteers, youth organisation members, students and people from all walks of the life, where a majority of the participants were women, attended the Ganga Gram Swachchhata Sammelan.
Ganga Gram is a concept to transform banks on the village of River Ganga into ideal villages with emphasis on achieving ODF status, solid and liquid waste management, water conservation, groundwater recharge, modern crematorium, tree plantation, organic and medicinal plant agriculture being the main components.
In this regard, Bharati stressed upon public participation as the key to making Ganga Bank villages as ideal Ganga Grams. She urged the people to participate in the activities, not to litter around and pollute water sources and take care of their waste management to promote organic farming.
Praising the efforts of Sahibganj district in ghat beautification and other cleanliness initiatives, she told the gathering that in the past one year, more than 7.5 lakh trees were planted in Ganga Bank revenue land.
The Union Minister also laid the foundation of Maskalaiyya Crematorium and ghat, Municipal Waste Water Project at Rajmahal. She also felicitated outstanding Rani Mistries and inaugurated Ganga Gram Exhibition besides visiting newly constructed Kanhaiyya Sthan ghat.
Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer highlighted the societal and financial gains of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). He said that in the last four years, sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from a lowly 39 percent to over 95 percent.