Namkhana: The “Sabar Souchagar” (toilet for all) project in West Bengal’s Nadia district, framed under the state’s “Nirmal Bangla” initiative and aimed at promoting cleanliness and sanitation in rural Bengal, has been won the prestigious United Nations Public Service Award 2015. West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee announced the news of this path-breaking achievement of West Bengal during a Government programme at Namkhana in South 24 Parganas.
The Chief Minister informed that It is a matter of pride that our Nadia district has been declared as the First Place Winner for the 2015 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of ‘Improving the Delivery of Public Services’ for the initiative ‘Sabar Shouchagar’. Nadia has become the winner of this global award from our entire country through a tough competition with multiple entries from 187 countries. The Award will be handed over by the United Nations Secretary-General on 23rd June, 2015 in Medellin, Republic of Colombia.
While in the entire country, there is much fanfare about sanitation and the “Swachh Bharat” Mission, West Bengal silently and with determination, through its Mission Nirmal Bangla, has again demonstrated that it can and is delivering the development goals for the last four years.
Besides the UN, Britain-based Loughborough University has also selected the project as “an inspiring district-level model for eliminating open defecation in India” and it would be felicitated at the 38th WEDC International Conference in London in July 2015.
On April 30, 2015, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a formal announcement of Nadia becoming the first Indian district to earn Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. Hooghly and Bardhaman are placed on second and third rank respectively.
On that day, one lakh school students today took the Nirmal Bangla Pledge along with the Chief Minister at Krishnanagar, Nadia. Representatives from UNICEF and World Bank were present on the occasion. To celebrate the success of the efforts in Nadia, 30 April will be observed as Nirmal Bangla Divas across the state every year, announced the West Bengal Chief Minister.