Dehradun, 28 November, 2011 : Chief Minister Major General (Retd.) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri gave away the Nirmal Gram Awards to 44 Gram Panchayats at a function held at the FRI auditorium here, on Monday. On the occasion, he congratulated the Gram Pradhans of the award-winning Gram Panchayats and appealed to them to make Uttarakhand clean and pure in accordance with the culture of ‘Dev Bhoomi’.
Chief Minister Shri Khanduri said that effective dissemination of message of sanitation from the award-winning panchayats will inspire other Gram Sabhas to follow their example. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the Chief Minister said that India is a country whose soul resides in the villages. His dream was to keep India clean. He said that the award programme will go a long way in disseminating the message of sanitation for realization of Gandhiji’s ideals and objectives in an effective manner. He said that due to inadequate number of lavatories in few villages, the women folk especially have to face lot of inconvenience. “Collective efforts are required for doing away with the situation”, he said.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister called upon all award-winners as well as those present at the function to take along with them the message of fostering awareness among the people to keep the rural areas free from dirt and pollution. He also expressed the hope that the State would be able to achieve the 100 percent mark in the sanitation sector within the near future. Reminding the people that they had a responsible duty to perform in keeping the villages clean and dirt-free, he called upon the 44 award-winning Panchayats to maintain the status of the honour that has been bestowed upon them. This is important to inspire the neighbouring villages and raise awareness among them on the importance of maintaining a clean and dirt-free environment, he said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister lit the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the Nirmal Gram Award distribution function in the FRI auditorium, which was organised under the joint aegis of the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission of the Department of Drinking Water of the Union Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, and the Swajal Project of the Drinking Water Department, Uttarakhand.
The Chief Minister gave away the Nirmal Gram Awards for the year 2009-10 to 10 Gram Pradhans of Almora, 5 from Haridwar, 3 from Nainital, 1 Gram Pradhan each from Rudraprayag and Pauri Garhwal, 4 from Dehradun, 3 Gram Pradhans each from Champawat, Tehri, Chamoli and Bageshwar, and 2 Gram Pradhans from Udham Singh Nagar. Besides, he also felicitated Gram Pradhans of Pithoragarh, Almora, Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal, Chamoli and Bageshwar by presenting a shawl to each of them for having received the Nirmal Gram Award from the President.
Speaking on the occasion, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Harbans Kapoor said that sanitation is an important aspect of a progressive and a healthy society, which needs to be imbibed by one and all. Congratulating the Gram Pradhans of the awardee Gram Panchayats, he appealed to them to maintain highest levels of sanitation in their villages as well as also inspire other Gram Panchayats in the neighbourhood on the need to do so.
Minister, Department of Drinking Water Prakash Pant said that the Government has initiated a number of meaningful efforts to promote health and hygiene in all villages of the State, through the Nirmal Gram Award programme. He said that the Government efforts are
directed to making available facilities and public conveniences in every village of the State such as public lavatories and management of solid waste.
Congratulating the award-winning Gram Pradhans, the Chairman of Drinking Water Advisory Committee Brij Bhushan Gairola said that the overall concept of Nirmal Gram Awards instilled a sense of competition among the different villages.
Swajal Director Kapil Lal informed that the t the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) was launched in 1986 primarily with the objective of improving the quality of life of the rural people and also to provide privacy and dignity to women. A sanitation level of 86 percent has been achieved in Uttarakhand and under the campaign, 6 lakh, 46 thousand and 831 personal lavatories, 2702 in schools, and 202 Aanganbaris lavatories have been constructed. He said that while 44 Gram Panchayats have received the awards for the year 2009-10, a total of 291 Gram Panchayats have been proposed for awards for the year 2010-11.
Those who were present on the occasion include Principal Secretary Drinking Water Utpal Kumar Singh, Managing Director of Peyjal Nigam Bhajan Singh, Chief General Manager DD Dimri, along with several senior officials. Besides, a large number of Gram Pradhans who had come from various parts of the State were also present on the occasion.