Mission Swachh Punjab bagged best E- governance and M – governance initiative for service delivery to citizen award in National Conference on Innovation in Governance organised jointly by Govt of Punjab and Elets Techno Media Ltd at Chandigarh .The awards were conferred by Governor of Punjab and Chief Secretary Government of Punjab in a function organised at Hotel JW Marriot Chandigarh. The award was received by sh. Ajoy Sharma, IAS, Head, Department of water supply and sanitation and Sh. Mohammad Ishafaq, Director, Sanitation.Disclosing this a spokesman of the Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation said that Mission Swachh Punjab was Launched in June 2015 by the Hon’ble Chief Minster S Parkash Singh Badal. Since then project has achieved significant success as w ork has started in 3777 villages spread across all the 144blocks of the state.1048 villages have been made Open Defecation Free. 1.88 lac latrines have already been approved .
He said that Swachh Punjab was the goal of a clean and healthy state by ensuring all the villages achieving open defecation free (ODF) status in three years time.The open defecation is rampant in India. World bank carried out rapid survey conducted in June-July 2014 in the villages of Punjab and reported that even in Punjab 56% male and 87% female use latrine regularly for defecation rest are indulging in open defecation either regularly or occasionally. Not only Punjab entire country is home to the world’s largest population of people who defecate in the open and excrete close to 65,000 tonnes of faeces into the environment each day.open defecation is a well-established traditional practice deeply ingrained from early childhood Building and owning a toilet is not perceived as aspirational and seen seen as the government’s responsibility.The spokesmant further said that Mission Swachh Punjab was being funded by Swachh Bharat Mission gramin andWolrd Bank jointly .
The aim of the mission is to ensure that not only, every rural house hold will have it’s own toilet but everybody will use it too.The project aims to make All the villages Open Defecation Free by constructing 8 lac House Hold toilets i.e. almost 25% of the rural population in next 3 years . Each House hold is eligible to receivean Financial incentive of Rs 15000/- for construction of latrine . However, this is not solely latrine construction program the Behaviour change among rural communities is the biggest challenge. Thus project has Greater thrust on awareness generation and mobilizing the community to take the lead in changing its sanitation status and changing the socially acceptable norm of open defecation .He said that Campaigns based on Community Lead Total sanitation approaches has been started in 5600 villages. Apart from GovtOfficials , more than 400 master motivators and 1040 motivators from rural communities are spear heading the campaigns in the 4416 villages . The Department of water Supply and sanitation Government of Punjab is nodal agency to implement the program. Deputy Commissioners at districts are leading the campaign.
Mission is has given special focus on school children .They have been imparted special training on Water Sanitation and Hygiene issues with the help of 1500 PERVESH (Primary VidyaSudhar Coordinators ). Learning improvement project run under the project in 13000 schools covering 11 lakh students,with the dual objective of improving the learning outcomes in all government primary school and increasing awareness about sanitation and safe water has got very encouraging results.NGO Pratham did a rapid survey for class 4th and 5th students in 78 schools across 10 districts and have found that the awareness of kids in these schools about safe drinking water and safe sanitation practices is fairly good. Report also indicates that whereas 60% of the classrooms had the knowledge that Toll free number for registering complaints exist, 40% of the classrooms actually knew this toll free number 1800-180-2468.
These campaigns have increased the educational standards of children as Recent, Annual survey of education report (ASER) by NGO Pratham indicates that there is a significant improvement in reading and arithmetic skills of 11 lakh Government primary school kids. In government schools, percentage of children in Std III who can do subtraction or more, increased from 32.1% in 2014 to 48.9% in 2015 an increase of 17%. Similarly, the percentage of children in class V who could do division, in government schools increased from 37.1% in 2014 to 51.5 % in 2015. Surprisingly, only 44.7% of class VI and 47.8% of class VII kids could do division in 2015 (Learning improvement project was implemented for primary classes only)., added the spokesman
He said that at the time of launch there were challenges to ensure transparency in beneficiary selection , transparency and accountability in disbursement of the incentive, Accountability in School outreach program and fast track the spread of the program . It was decided to use the e governance and m-governance tools to over come above challenges . It was aimed to ensure hassle and corruption free of delivery of sanitation facilities to the poor people. Under this project the beneficiary or gram panchayats are being provided door step delivery by the department .
Unlike many states where beneficiary has to run around the government offices to receive latrine incentive the beneficiaries in Punjab are receiving the incentive while sitting in their house as incentive is being transferred in their bank accounts through direct benefit transfer .He explained that Department developed web application integrated with mobile application to capture various activities like Gram sabha meetings , display of beneficiary lists, Electricity bills , bank account particulars and pics of the beneficiary at initial stage, latrine construction images .pictures of motivational campaigns .He said that Web application has been deigned to ensure updating the beneficiary through SMS notification about approval of latrine incentive and its payment status . All payments are being monitored online .The activities of the project are being monitored and evaluated using colour coded dash board and charts which create sense of competitions among implementing officers and officials .
The web application has been hosted at www.sbmpunjab.com. Application is associated with Mobile application . Students and teachers of Punjab Engineering college developed the Mobile application .Application Design and Plan prepared in house through participatory consultation process among grass root functionary to apex level officers The Web application is one stop data center , progress monitoring and evaluation tool. It is Simple enough to be used by Village level motivators from village communities ,Mobile application and web application are being used to plan, monitor and evaluate activities of master motivators and motivators Without this application it was virtually impossible to scale up the work in 5600 villages in a short span of 6 months