School children are likely to sing a song on cleanliness during their morning assembly or lunch break as part of Centre’s drive to push its Swachh Bharat campaign, which has a long way to go to meet its targets.
In a move aimed at creating awareness, the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry will soon introduce Swachhta Geet ( cleanliness song) in schools. It is also proposing to celebrate the first working day of the week as Swachhta Diwas where children would undertake activities to clean their surroundings. The ministry has set a three month target to launch these two initiatives.
Even as the government is ramping up its communication strategy to involve school children and college students to publicize the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), aimed at making India clean and open defecation free by 2019, it is still way behind meeting the physical targets on the ground.
Under the urban leg of SBM, as against the target of building 25 lakh household toilets till March 2016 , only 8.8 lakh or 35 % has been built till December 2015. Similarly, as against the target of building 100,000 community and public toilets, till December 2015 just 32 % has been constructed. The progress on solid waste management front has been equally dismal. As against the target of processing 37 % municipal waste by March 2016, so far only 17 % is being processed every day.
Under the rural component of the program in 2015-16, 78 lakh household toilets have been built. “In various meetings to review the progress of SBM it was felt that more needs to be done to create awareness about cleanliness. And schools are one of the key areas to start the awareness campaign,” said an official.