Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat felicitated the winners of National Short Films competition on ODF Plus/ Swachhata Filmon ka Amrit Mahotsav held early this year at an event here today organized by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of JalShakti. Shri Somnath Bag from West Bengal was awarded First prize for his film on Biogas/Gobardhan and Shri Lumlang Warjri of Meghalaya was felicitated with Second Prize for his film on Biodegradable Waste Management theme. The event was attended by Shri Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, MoJalShakti, Shri Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, DDWS, other senior DDWS officials and media.
DDWS under Phase 2 of SBMG launched the National Level Short Films Competition ‘Swachhata Filmon ka Amrit Mahotsava’ as part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations on April 16, 2021 for promoting mass awareness on ODF Plus components aiming at accelerating the momentum for achieving ODF Plus goals. The competition concluded on 31st August, 2021 and received over 4000 entries from across the country. The objective of the campaign aimed at taking forward the extraordinary milestone of ODF India achieved in Phase 1 of SBMG and sustaining the significant gains made in access to safe sanitation, embarking on comprehensive cleanliness or ODF Plus in villages. Amidst the Covid 19 pandemic backdrop, the film competition campaign was a very effective IEC tool for mobilizing the rural community on ODF Plus awareness by participation and influencing positive behaviour change overall.
In his address, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister said, SBMG has transformed rural India by manifesting into a Jan Andolan for sanitation under the guidance and leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) rural India milestone in mission mode (2014-19). Taking forward the extraordinary success, Phase -II of the SBM (G) aiming at achieving ODF Plus goal was launched in 2020, which focuses on ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) aiming at comprehensive cleanliness in villages. He highlighted the importance of access to safe sanitation facilities in terms of social, economic and health benefits to rural community members especially the vulnerable and marginalized community. He congratulated all the participants for showing their enthusiasm in joining this JanAndolan for achieving the ODF Plus goal.
Shri Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, DDWS, MoJS in his address said that behaviour change has always been at the core of SBMG. In Phase 2, the importance of IEC has increase multifold with objective of triggering behaviour change around various SLWM components of ODF Plus. Such community led campaigns give more strength to the program on the ground.