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Kit Phatsadorn
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Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachata Abhiyan Pdf Download

Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachata Abhiyan: A Community-Based Sanitation Campaign in Maharashtra

Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachata Abhiyan (SGBGSA) is a sanitation campaign launched by the government of Maharashtra in 2000-01, inspired by the life and teachings of Sant Gadge Baba, a 19th century saint and social reformer who advocated cleanliness, hygiene and social justice. The campaign aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas by promoting community participation, awareness and behavior change in various aspects of sanitation, such as drinking water, household hygiene, personal hygiene, environmental hygiene, water conservation and solid waste management. The campaign also awards cash prizes to the best performing villages at different levels of administration, based on a set of criteria and indicators.

The campaign is named after Sant Gadge Baba, who was born as Debuji Zhingraji Janorkar in 1876 in Shendgaon village of Amravati district in Maharashtra. He was a wandering mendicant who travelled from village to village, cleaning the streets and gutters with his broom and pan, and preaching the values of service, compassion and social justice through his kirtans (devotional songs). He also challenged the caste system, untouchability and superstitions, and encouraged people to adopt simple living, hard work and self-reliance. He was revered by the masses as well as by prominent leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, Bhaurao Krishnaji Gaikwad, Tukdoji Maharaj and Meher Baba. He died in 1956 at Walgaon village in Maharashtra.

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The campaign was initiated by the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was impressed by the cleanliness and development of Hivre Bazar village in Ahmednagar district, which had won the national award for being the cleanest village in India in 1999. Deshmukh decided to replicate the success of Hivre Bazar across the state by launching a statewide campaign based on community participation and competition. He also announced that the campaign would be named after Sant Gadge Baba, who was a role model for rural development and social reform.

The campaign is implemented by the Rural Development Department of Maharashtra, in collaboration with other departments such as Water Supply and Sanitation, Health, Education, Women and Child Development, Animal Husbandry, etc. The campaign covers all the 40,959 villages in the state, divided into four categories based on population size: A (more than 2000), B (1000-2000), C (500-1000) and D (less than 500). The villages are evaluated annually by a committee at different levels: gram panchayat (village council), panchayat samiti (block council), zilla parishad (district council), divisional commissionerate and state level. The evaluation is based on a set of criteria and indicators covering various aspects of sanitation such as drinking water quality and availability, household toilets and latrines, personal hygiene practices, environmental cleanliness, waste disposal systems, water conservation measures, etc. The villages are awarded marks out of 100 for each criterion, and the total score determines their ranking. The best performing villages are awarded cash prizes ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25 lakh at different levels. The prize money is used for further development of the village.

The campaign has achieved remarkable results in terms of improving the sanitation situation in rural Maharashtra. According to a report by UNICEF in 2012, the campaign has led to a significant increase in the coverage of safe drinking water sources from 67% in 2001 to 87% in 2011; household toilets from 22% to 69%; personal hygiene practices such as hand washing from 53% to 85%; environmental cleanliness such as garbage disposal from 36% to 76%; water conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting from 8% to 36%; etc. The report also states that the campaign has contributed to reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, etc., as well as improving the nutritional status and school attendance of children. The report also praises the campaign for its innovative approach of using community participation, competition, incentives, social mobilization, awareness generation and behavior change as the key drivers of change.

The campaign has also received national and international recognition and appreciation for its achievements. The campaign has won several awards such as the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2007, the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (Clean Village Award) by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2008, the UN Public Service Award in 2009, the Skoch Challenger Award in 2010, etc. The campaign has also been cited as a best practice and a model for replication by various agencies such as the World Bank, UNICEF, WHO, etc.

The campaign is still ongoing and aims to achieve the goal of making Maharashtra a 100% open defecation free state by 2022. The campaign also plans to expand its scope and include other aspects of rural development such as health, education, livelihood, women empowerment, etc. The campaign also seeks to involve more stakeholders such as NGOs, corporates, media, etc., in its implementation and monitoring. The campaign also hopes to inspire other states and countries to adopt a similar approach for improving the sanitation situation in their respective areas.

If you want to download a PDF version of this article, you can click on this link: [Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachata Abhiyan PDF Download].

I hope you found this article informative and useful. Thank you for reading.


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