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SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge

India joins the rest of the globe in marking World Toilet Day with its very own unique campaign 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development of India has kicked off a week-long awareness campaign called the ‘SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC)’ from 14th to 20th November 2021.  This is to coincide with ‘World Toilet Day’ that is being marked globally on 19th November this year.

There are approximately 246 cities that are said to be participating in the SSC challenge in India, whose main priority is to encourage cities towards more mechanized cleaning operations of their sewers and septic tanks.  This module hopes to prevent deaths and fatalities of sanitization workers that have been caused due to hazardous entry into their respiratory system.

The government has put together various initiatives within the SSC campaign.  The Loan Melas is one such campaign that comprises a range of awards and monetary incentives across all spectrums of the country’s population.  Along with this, intensive training modules, both in theory and practice have been formulated by affiliate training providers to impart all-around guidance and knowledge to sanitization workers before the commencement of work.  At the same time, special designations and unique uniforms have been designed for various categories of workers across urban India.  Going forward, Swachhata Commandos would be those workers engaged in underground cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, while Safaimitras would be those workers involved in road sweeping and waste collection.  These all would be overlooked by the Swachhata Supervisor/Operator who would ensure the smooth and efficient execution of the entire cleaning process.

World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001, and subsequently, the UN General Assembly declared World Toilet Day as an official UN day on 19th November. The global campaign revolves around the need to draw more attention to the economically challenged and poorly managed sanitation systems around the world.  This lapse in the overall sanitary system has adverse consequences on the health, economics and environment of any country.  Hence the need of the hour is awareness, education and improvement in sanitation facilities worldwide.

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