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WASH meet deliberates on rural sanitation

WASH meet deliberates on rural sanitation
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Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday underlined the need to commit ourselves to achieving the larger goal of Clean India.

Rajendranagar: Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday underlined the need to commit ourselves to achieving the larger goal of Clean India. "India has already achieved Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and is almost 10 years ahead of what the UN slated for all the nations to strive and achieve."

She was speaking at UNICEF WASH (Water, Hygiene and Sanitation) conclave that began at NIRD&PR here on Wednesday on the theme of 'Celebrating Success' with a special focus on rural WASH interventions and their contribution to sustainable development goals.

The conclave that would go on for more two days will provide an opportunity to the participants to reflect on National Rural Sanitation Strategy, ODF+ (Open defecation free) Strategy, 10-year sanitation strategy and the Jal Shakti Mission guidelines released by Government of India and agree on broad actions to realise its objectives.

Explaining that India has become a storehouse of strategies for other developing countries on the sanitation front, Dr Tamilisai said "the commitment Prime Minister Modi displayed on sanitation issue has percolated down at every level of administration and today we are celebrating the success together for the achievement."

"As a gynecologist," she said, "I have witnessed in hospitals women suffering due to want of poor hygiene habits, and children dying due to diarrheal deaths, which are very much preventable. Moreover, menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls is another issue we need to pay attention to, as part of ODF + in the years to come."

Meital Rusdia, Head of UNICEF-Hyderabad Field Office, said, "This year is a globally important for child rights as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).

In India, I find there is a strong political will, which is perceptible from the increasing fund allocation for WASH sector. WASH is paramount for children to achieve their full potential. With the commitment of the staff in Panchayats and Rural Development Department and the field level functionaries we shall move towards the next milestones in enabling WASH services available to every child.

"This celebration today, and the excellence achieved in WASH sector have become possible because of the commitment the State and the district administration showed in achieving ODF. Every village level motivator, Community leader, SHG women – everyone deserve to celebrate this moment."

WASH partners, officials and experts from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are participating in this event along with officials from UNICEF Hyderabad Field Office, Meital Rusdia, and Senior Government representatives from the three States.

Soujay Majumdhar from UNICEF Delhi and Dr W R Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR, also spoke on the occasion. An important element of the National Rural Sanitation Strategy is ODF sustainability, besides solid and liquid waste management in rural areas, and ensuring tap water to every household through Jal Jeevan Mission.

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