PM Modi Honours 6,000 Women on Women’s Day For Their Role In Swachh Bharat MissionPM Modi honouring Swachh Bharat Women Champions (Photo Credit: ANI)

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in association with the Government of Gujarat, organised a Women Champions Convention – called Swachh Shakti 2017 – today, 8 March 2017, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar. 6,000 selected women sarpanches and grassroots workers from across the country were invited and honoured for their outstanding contribution towards making Swachh Bharat a reality in rural India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the women champions on this occasion and honoured them.

Swachh Shakti Saptaah was celebrated across the country from 1 March to 8 March 2017, with various state and district level administrations organising special events to honour and felicitate women champions who have done exceptional work in the field of rural sanitation. Several Union Ministers took part in the state-level events to carry forward the message of Swachhta and to pay tribute to the role of women.

The women sarpanches from across the country arrived in Gujarat on the eve of the occasion and were taken around some districts on thematic study tours during which they watched developmental models around various themes like dairy development, water conservation, self-help groups, food processing, e-gram / digital gram, khadi and agriculture produce markets in action. This was followed by a cultural programme at the Sabarmati riverfront in the evening.

Today (8 March), all participating sarpanches gathered at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, to watch a digital exhibition designed around the theme of “Role of Women Champions in Swachh Bharat”.

This was followed by an edutainment session featuring various governmental programmes like Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Digital India, among others, interspersed with cultural performances by local troupes from Gujarat.

Prime Minister Modi delivered his address, honouring the 6,000 sarpanches, and 10 women swachhagrahis who have done exceptional work for Swachh Bharat. Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Majahan, the Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani, and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, are in attendance and will address the women sarpanches. Meanwhile, events are being held in various states across the country to honour women swachhta champions in their respective states.

The Swachh Bharat Mission, launched on 2 October 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is aimed at achieving a clean and open defecation free (ODF) India. An ODF rural India will have far reaching benefits for all sections of society, especially women. Open defecation is an indignity that no woman in this country must have to bear. Creating an ODF society provides dignity, safety and security along with health benefits to millions of women. Inspiring leaders among women sarpanches have decided to champion the cause of sanitation in their respective villages across the country, by galvanising the entire village to achieve an ODF status. With all-round efforts, 110 districts and 1.7 lakh villages have become ODF since the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched.

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