New Delhi, March 19 Over 200 representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies on Thursday urged the government to ensure people’s right to water and sanitation with the present context to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet initiative — Clean India Campaign.
They said that though the government has set a target of making India completely filth-free, due to lack of resources, allocation of funds in the states, especially in the villages and semi-urban areas, has become the bottle-neck in the implementation of the project.
“The 2019 target of making India clean is not impossible but there are various challenges existing in the system like non-availability of funds, unclear guidelines and frequent changes in policies and guidelines. We believe that the instructions from the apex level should be timely and focused,” said Sushma Kusum, sarpanch of a village in Jharkhand.
She was speaking at the all India Convention of the Right to Sanitation held in the national capital to mark the World Water Day that falls on March 22 every year.
The Convention brought grassroots voices to discuss the overall framework of the clean India campaign and to share the practical bottlenecks in implementation and adoption at the community level from different social and geographic perspectives.
B. Rambabu, Sarpanch from a village in Andhra Pradesh said, “We have motivated as well educated villagers to construct toilets in their houses but the subsidy payments are not provided on time. As a result the work gets stuck and it gets difficult to influence people to take further steps for toilet construction,”.
The participants said that the key discussions and outcomes at the convention will be recorded in the form of a charter and later presented to the relevant ministries for its integration into the various elements of addressing water and sanitation. The event was organized by the Right to Sanitation Campaign in India.
“Right to Sanitation campaign is designed in a way that its impact is felt at both the national as well as at the grassroots level. In the Convention, we have invited Sarpanch from 15 different states to share their learning and experience thus motivating and energising the work at ground level,” said Member, National Campaign Co-ordination Committee Rajesh Upadhyay.