Launch of Banega Swachh India in Bihar

August 24, 2015

Pujya Swamiji, Co-founder of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), was cordially invited to be on the steering committee for Jagran Pehel and Reckitt and Benckiser’s new campaign entitled ‘Banega Swachh India.’ The initiative will bring health, hygiene and sanitation in 200 villages across Uttar Pradesh & Bihar. It will do so by creating local Sanitation Change Leaders who will work to ensure sustainable behaviour change for improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

The official launching of the campaign in Patna, Bihar, was graced and blessed by Pujya Swamiji, along with the presence of esteemed dignitaries Smt Vidya Balanji, famous Bollywood actress and ambassador for the campaign, Shri Jairam Rameshji, Hon’ble Former Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Sandeep Gupta, Dainik Jagran Group Executive Editor and Director, Shri Anand Madhabji, Chief Executive Officer- Jagran Pehel, Shri Nitish Kapoorji, Regional Director Reckitt and Benckiser (RB) South Asia, Mr. Shatrughan Sinhaji, veteran actor and politician, Mr. Jack Sim, Founder-President of World Toilet Organization, Shri Radhashyam Gomlaji, Gram Pradhan of ODF free, model village of Gomla, Haryana, and many others.

Pujya Swamiji lauded the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of RB to come together with the Media Social Responsibility (MSR) of Dainik Jagran/Jagran Pehel. He assured GIWA’s Religious Social Responsibility (RSR) would be with these noble efforts and inspired the village stakeholder’s to embrace Human Social Responsibility (HSR) to help in creating sustainable change for sanitation.

He led hundreds of Gram Pradhans and local representatives in a pledge for improved WASH and commitment to end open defecation in their respective villages. He summarized the key to success for the new Sanitation Change Leaders in a simple green mantra, ‘be social, vocal and local.’ He said be social and connect with your community to address the stigmas that are preventing ODF. Be vocal, He shared, in reminding others of the need for ending open defecation and improving WASH. He emphasized that with nearly 600 million people in India defecating in the open and over 1200 children perishing daily due to preventable waterborne illnesses the need for this change is urgent and vital. He said work locally, be and do the change, to create a cleanlier India and a healthier world.

To see highlights from the Lucknow event, click here.