Safe sanitation and clean surroundings have an immense impact on health, productivity, safety and dignity, and are vital for an enhanced quality of life. In response to the national and international commitments toward the Sustainable Development Goals, the Swachh Bharat Mission, and the National Rural Sanitation Strategy 2019, the State Government of Odisha, its various departments and the rural residents of the State shall institute systems and behaviours to enable availability and sustainable management of safe Sanitation including Solid and Liquid Waste Management for all. With the State being declared as Open Defecation Free in 2019, the focus must now shift towards leveraging the momentum for creating and sustaining clean and sanitized villages through the delivery of adequate SLWM services and amenities to all the residents of rural areas.
The Odisha Rural Sanitation Policy 2020 provides a framework aligned to the 5T guiding principles (Teamwork, Technology, Transparency, Time leading to Transformation), as laid out by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, with an overarching vision of achieving Swachha Odisha, Sustha Odisha. Accordingly, it sets out a course of action towards (i) sustaining toilet access, usage and hygiene practices, and (ii) safe management of solid and liquid wastes. Central to this approach is ‘people’s participation’ for creating, managing and maintaining sanitation related assets and services.
Guided by the 73rdConstitutional Amendment and the Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964, Gram Panchayats (GPs) are the designated lead agencies for implementation of the Odisha Rural Sanitation Policy 2020. GPs, in partnership with the local communities, shall strive to achieve the desired outcomes within an equitable and inclusive framework, founded on the principle of decentralized governance. The Policy envisions sanitation secure villages, created through locally managed and owned interventions that shall provide an improved quality of life to its residents and drive development.