Itanagar, April 21, 2012: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has awarded Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) to 17 gram panchayats from three districts - Lohit (14), Upper Subansiri (2) and Lower Dibang Valley (1).
Addressing the second NGP Award ceremony organized here yesterday, Tuki said it was only by ensuring better sanitation that the health of our countrymen could be improved and good health alone could ensure productivity, happiness and better quality of life in rural India.
While appreciating the winners, Tuki said that they will become the role models for other Gram Panchayats to emulate, and hoped that the state would see more and more of NGP awards in times to come while also lauding the department of PHE & Water Supply for the 'TSC' success.
Stating that sanitation in the past was a subject not attached with much importance, Tuki said, "It was Mahatma Gandhi whose vision about rural development brought the problem of rural sanitation to focus. Gandhiji even said: Sanitation is more important than independence. The TSC today is an effort in response to the vision of Gandhiji."
The gram panchayats were conferred the NGP this year by the Centre for their contributions towards attaining the goals of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).
Citing that unsafe water and poor sanitation are responsible for about eighty per cent of the diseases suffered by the people in developing countries, he felt that common diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera etc which kill millions of people every year especially in age group 0 to 5, could be prevented by improving the quality of water and sanitation practices.
Sanitation through the TSC programme, he said, is now a subject to which the government was according great importance.
While the hardware components of TSC, like construction of individual household latrines, school and Anganwadi toilets, community toilets, are still important, the CM noted that more emphasis need to be given to the software components of the programme such as IEC, support system.
Active involvement of the stakeholders like the community, the PRI leaders, the women, the school children, the school teachers, the ASHAs and Anganwadi workers, the NGO must be ensured, he added.
Speaking on the factors that stand in way of progress of TSC, Tuki said, "As per guidelines of the programme, the cash incentive for construction of individual household latrine is limited to the BPL families only. In Arunachal Pradesh difference in the economic status of BPL and APL households is razor thin. Hence leaving out the APL households from ambit of the incentive scheme could be counterproductive." The other visible factor causing slow pace of progress is the limitation in incentive support for toilets, he observed. (Source: PTI)