New Delhi, March 2: In order to highlight the role of women and recognize their leadership in Swachh Bharat Mission Ministry of drinking water and sanitation launched Swachh Shakti Saptah in Haryana. The week-long mission aims to achieve open defecation free till 2017. Over 1000 women Swachhta champions from Haryana attended the event. Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Narendra Singh Tomar launched this Swachh Shakti Saptah in Gurugram, Haryana. While addressing the launch Tomar lauded the leadership role being played by women across the rural India in implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission. He announced that throughout the coming week, there will be nationwide events honoring women champions, women Sarpanches, ASHA workers, school teachers, young students and senior citizens. He said that the week will culminate with a mega-event in Gujarat named Swachh Shakti 2017 where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will address 6000 women Sarpanches and honor them for their contribution to Swachh Bharat.
The Minister also announced that the number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) districts in the country has now crossed 100. Over 1.7 lakh villages have become ODF. He said that the achievement of this milestone today has made it an occasion of double celebration for the Mission. He lauded everyone involved in the Swachh Bharat Mission, especially the administrations of these 100 districts, for their exceptional efforts towards making the Prime Minister’s vision of a Swachh and Open Defecation Free India a reality.
Deputy Commissioners of 11 ODF districts of Haryana were honored on the occasion. The launch was done with the release of balloons by ground level women leaders, inauguration of a sanitation related exhibition and a series of folk cultural presentation relating to women and Swachhta. O.P Dhankar, Haryana Minister for Development & Panchayats and Agriculture, was also present at the event. Speaking on the occasion, he said that women are natural leaders of Swachh Bharat Mission. He also declared that Haryana will become an ODF State by November 2017.