Wednesday, April 17, 2024

West Garo Hills tops in total sanitation campaign


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Chief  Minister  gives  away  Nirmal  Gram  Puraskar  to  71  villages

From Our Correspondent

Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma hands over trophy to one of the recipients Nirmal Gram Puraskar in a function held at Tura on Monday. (ST)

 TURA: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Monday handed over Nirmal Gram Puraskar Awards to seventy-one villages of West Garo Hills, the highest achievement for the state, in a glittering programmee at the district auditorium here.

The awards are given to those villages which have done away with open defecation. The programmme has active involvement of local villagers and the main goal is to provide necessary toilet facilities and overall cleanliness of village by constructing liquid and solid waste management facilities to create hygienic rural environment in schools, Anganwadi centres and individual households.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the Chief Minister praised the efforts of the villagers for taking upon themselves the challenge to end open defecation and thereby bring about good health and hygiene to their villages.

“Open defecation can be extremely dangerous because through it a diseased man can spread parasitic infection to others through ground water and soil contamination,” said the Chief Minister who himself is a medical doctor.

Now that these villages have been declared free of open defecation the task will be more challenging because with each passing year the population would grow and active participation and commitment from each individual would be immensely required to continue keeping the village free of open defecation, cautioned the Chief Minister.

Last year there were 52 villages in the state which received the NGP awards and among them were 21 from West Garo Hills. This year there are 160 villages out of which 71 belong to West Garo Hills district.

Another important dignitary who participated in the award ceremony was M Kullapa, Water and Sanitation specialist for India and South Asia. Mr Kullapa said “Meghalaya is one among seven states in the country that has done exceedingly well since the launching of the total sanitation campaign.”

“From our assessment and the overwhelming response from the villagers, Meghalaya could completely eradicate open defecation within the next two years,” said Kullapa whose team of scientists and technical experts put forward ideas before governments for the wellbeing of its people.

West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Sanjay Goyal, who personally oversaw the progress of the total sanitation campaign was also felicitated with a memento by the Chief Minister.

Others who spoke on the occasion included PHE Minister Shitlang Pale, C&RD minister, Saleng A Sangma, MLA and parliamentary secretary Ismail Marak, Principal Secretary to PHE Department P W Ingty and Chief Engineer of PHE H. Prasad.


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