Over 1,30,000 cleaning drives during ‘Swacchhta Abhiyan’ fortnight

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New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) As 1,36,190 cleaning drives were conducted during the “Swacchhta Pakhwada” fortnight August 1-15 at temples, parks, roads, slum areas, hospitals, banks, hospitals, and other places, officials said on Tuesday.

“Eco-Clubs established under the National Green Corps programme of the Ministry carried out various activities relating to Swacchhta such as Safai Abhiyan at nearby commercial areas and cleaning of public wells, ponds and rivers of the locality,” Additional Secretary, Environment, Amita Prasad told media at a press conference here.

She also said that drives to plant trees and and greening the neighbourhood were also carried out during the fortnight, and awareness campaigns undertaken through street plays and rallies.

A total of 5,56,500 volunteers took pledge on government portal mygov.in, where they can post before and after pictures of location at which work has been done, and 1,36,190 cleaning drives were conducted during the period at temples, parks, roads, slum areas, hospitals, banks, hospitals, etc, she said.

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Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer stressed the role of corporate houses in the Swacchhata Abhiyaan and underlined the various ways in which corporate houses can make changes in the sanitation outlook of the country.

National Cadet Corps (NCC) Director General, Maj. Gen. J. S. Sandhu told the media about the contribution of NCC volunteers in stopping open defecation.

Apart from holding awareness rallies, street plays, lectures and seminars, and distributing public health material, NCC volunteers would go out in the field to identify the areas where there’s a need of mobilisation and awareness and then would then inform the district collector of it so that proper action can be taken, he said.

Iyer also said that a proposal to recruit “Swacchhta Fellows” has also been sent to many corporate houses to give them a chance to contribute further in way of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He said that these fellow would work as paid volunteers for a certain period and would be assigned a district and would work in co-ordination with the district collector.

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