By Mayank Jain:Â
The day when every citizen of the country will be able to lead a life full of prosperity, sanitation and happiness will be the day when we succeed as a country. While the previous statements seems quite farfetched in the wake of current situation of our beloved India; Sikkim has turned out to be a break out state by achieving 100% sanitation.
Sikkim with its population of just above 6 lakh residents managed to come on top of the 28 states and union territories in sanitation coverage as per a report by drinking water and sanitation ministry.
The state is the least populated one in the country but that doesn’t take away from the efforts that the authorities put in to ensure a holistic outlook towards sanitation issues in the region and continued initiatives to wipe out unsanitary practices like open defecation from the state. Sikkim government released a statement that said “The state has also sensitized people to adopt a holistic approach to improve sanitation and hygiene for a clean environment while accelerating overall development in the state”.
While it’s a first for an Indian state to achieve 100% sanitation, it also sets a precedent and an example for the others to follow. The highly critical states of UP and Bihar need to learn a thing or two from the government’s action plan and implement it to improve sanitation in the households.
In Sikkim, as many as 163 panchayats received monetary rewards ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar’ for developing sanitation and clean water infrastructure. This is a feat in itself and combined with the 110% coverage of schools against the target set for total sanitation program, speaks volumes about the potential of efforts made with a very strong will, in the right direction.
The numbers released in the report are impressive enough to make each one of us proud of the state. But this calls for greater responsibility on our part to make efforts in our own surroundings to tackle the issue of sanitation and bring about a change like Sikkim has done if we have to rise above the peers in human development indicators and improve the quality of life for citizens.