According to data available, Jharkhand may pose the biggest challenge for PM Modi in achieving the goals of his Swachh Bharat campaign.
In 2011, Jharkhand had the highest percentage of households – 77% – without latrines. In 2001, this number was 80%. This drop of 3 percentage points is one of the lowest changes among all the states in the last decade. This doesn’t stop these Swachh warriors contribute their best in changing the current state of Jharkhand and further making it gradually progess in the field of ‘Swachhta’. Here are some of the ‘Swachh Warriors’ which you should definitely know about.
For the past three decades, Dulerai Chawda has been cleaning the drains and streets of his neighbourhood Gujarati Mohalla in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad city. He uses his scooter to pick up garbage every morning and then sweeps the streets. His children have now grown up and left the house, but he has not taken a break.
Janki Mahato might be 74, but he doesn’t miss a single day of cleaning up his neighbourhood in Jharkhand’s Dehar village. For the past 24 years, the frail man with a broom in one hand and a garbage collection bag in the other is a regular sight in the village.
The credit of making Karangagudi village in Jharkhand’s Simdega district open defecation-free (ODF) goes to former village chief Dorothea Kerketta, 73, say locals. The retired schoolteacher used her pension for the construction of toilets in the village and educated people about the need to build more such facilities. Because of her efforts, Karangagudi was declared the first ODF village in the district.
Pravin Bharti has become the voice of change in the villages of Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district. He believes cleanliness should have a place in all walks of life – physical, mental and in one’s actions. Bharti has organised more than 30 Swachhta camps in the district. He has visited several schools and villages, speaking to people of all ages about the need to protect the environment by keeping it clean.
Viswajit Prasad is the founder of Change India Foundation, which carries out cleanliness campaigns and does wall paintings in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. He said his organisation took up the work after a 2016 cleanliness survey, in which the city lagged behind. Prasad asked people on social media to share photos of places strewn with garbage. His team went to those areas and carried out cleanliness drives with the help of residents.