The issue of hazardous entry of persons into sewers and septic tanks and resultant deaths because of such unsafe practices still prevalent among cities and towns. In order to stop this practice, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched a National Competition titled “Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge” (City Challenge on Manhole to Machine Hole Transformation) on 19th November 2020. This day is also commemorated as the World Toilet Day. The aim of this competition is to encourage more cities and towns to adopt Mechanized Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks as a practice. Two hundred and forty two (242) cities from all States across India have pledged to participate in this challenge. Based on NIUA's capacity building experience for the last few decades, MoHUA has nominated the institute for anchoring this challenge. The institute has been conducting a series of online capacity building sessions on the various themes of the competition. The contents of the workshop are curated based on the feedback received by the institute from the cities and the findings of a training needs assessment conducted on-line with the participating cities. Sessions have been delivered by experts on selection of appropriate technology, equipment and protective gear for empowerment of Safaimitras; IEC and public awareness campaigns; and use of IT related solutions regarding the challenge. Sessions were also conducted to assist cities in procuring the right equipment through online procurement platforms like the GeM portal and uploading information related to the challenge on the MIS of the Swachh Survekshan 2021. These workshops have also been promoting peer – to –peer learning by enabling cities to share their good practices and on-ground experiences. To ensure continuous support to States and ULBs during the challenge, NIUA has collaborated with more than 30 organizations that have been contributing to city-wide sanitation through their ongoing activities.
Kaustubh Parihar Project Associate (NG)
Tavishi Darbari Research Associate(NG)
Gaurav Thapak Research Associate
Sonali Mehra Research Associate(NG)