Thumbs up from Mumbai students for Swachh Bharat Summer Internship
Students are spending their summer vacation promoting safer sanitation methods in remote parts of Maharashtra; youngsters have to devote 100 working hours.Updated: May 28, 2018 15:19 IST
College students across Mumbai have signed up for Swachh Bharat Summer Internship 2018, an initiative of the Central government, which requires youngsters to devote 100 hours working for sanitation-related work in villages.
From constructing and repairing toilets to installing sewage management system, students are spending their summer vacation promoting safer sanitation methods in remote parts of Maharashtra. While learning about hurdles in implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project in rural areas firsthand, they also hope to earn several incentives, including two extra credit points to their academic scores.
Students applying for the internship will have to devote at least 100 hours — anytime from May 1 to July 31. According to Babasaheb Bidve, National Service Scheme (NSS) coordinator for University of Mumbai (MU), several colleges in the city have registered for the initiative and more are expected to join once new academic year starts in June.
As part of the initiative, students from KC College, Churchgate, have started working on a waste management plant in their adopted village of Karwale in Palghar district. They have built a vermicompost chamber in the village that will treat sewage and other wastes in a natural and generate compost. It is now being filled with layers of mud, dung and leaves, and will be covered before the monsoon.
They will also survey the toilets they have constructed over the years. “We have been working in this village for the past 14 years and have constructed several toilets — including 112 built that were built in the past two years. We want to find out if they need repairs, if people are using them and not,” said Satish Kolte, NSS coordinator of the college.
RD National College, Bandra, has decided to carry out similar activities in its adopted village of Indapur in Raigad district. As part of the first phase of the internship, the college had joined hands with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and conducted a weeklong orientation programme for the 30 students who registered for the internship.
Earlier this month, the students visited a waste-to-energy plant constructed by Pali Hill Residents Association with the help of BMC. They learnt how the project powers streetlights with electricity generated from household waste. BMC officials also taught them how to communicate effectively and patiently with residents, while creating awareness on waste segregation.
Students from MD College, Parel, also plan to spend five days in their adopted villages of Damanwadi and Tadwadi, near Badlapur and create awareness on various issues related to cleanliness including the use of dustbin and waste management. The students will lead by example and clean the streets.
According to the teachers, the initiative is not limited to NSS members and more students are expected to enrol. “The students will learn to be more responsible through this initiative. They will also earn two additional credit points for their efforts,” said BT Nikam, NSS coordinator, MD College.
However, they also expect students to face hurdles in their cleanliness movement. “Many times, villagers don’t use public toilets unless it’s near their home. Some people also encroach on these facilities,” said Vijendra Shekhawat, NSS coordinator, RD National College. He added they will interact with village leaders to understand their issues and devote 20 out of 100 hours to address the problems they would highlight.
First Published: May 28, 2018 15:18 IST