30th April will be ’Nirmal Bangla Diwas‘ this year onwards. With Nadia to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) being the first district in the country, West Bengal is about to witness a major stride in its Mission Nirmal Bangla to eliminate open defecation from the rural landscape for a cleaner, safer and healthier Bengal. Perseverance of the district administration towards construction of about 3.09 lakhs individual household level toilet coupled with extensive training and behaviour change communication brought them closer to the prestigious title of being the first ever ODF district in the whole country.
The ISGP Project which has pioneered GIS based GP planning and activity tracking as also Grievance Redress Mechanism system through Web and toll free helpline has now collaborated with Mission Nirmal Bangla for ODF Gram Panchayats. Ever since Mission Nirmal Bangla programme has been launched state-wide, ISGP Project team has been an integral part of it to function as district level resources to impart training to Panchayat Institutions to promote open defecation free sanitation habit in rural areas. The team has been working as district level hubs in dissemination of knowledge among the stakeholders, motivating institutions to undertake campaign on various initiatives complementing efforts of Mission Nirmal Bangla. ISGP Project team has been entrusted with the responsibility to implement Solid Waste Management schemes in 200 GPs within the project universe. The Solid Waste Management scheme is one of the key and challenging interventions under Mission Nirmal Bangla. District Coordination Units of ISGP Project are holding sensitization workshops with potential Gram Panchayats for social mobilization. In the next phase, selected Gram Panchayats would be trained on operational aspects of solid waste management initiative and its sustainability. One time financial aid worth Rupees Twenty Lakhs would be provided to each of the Gram Panchayats for creating infrastructures like central processing units, household level waste bins and waste transportation system etc. The project Gram Panchayats, having received mentoring support for last four years to gain institutional strength to delivering better civic services are now prepared to demonstrate that they belong to “Next Generation Panchayats” which is modern, strengthened, transparent and cleaner.