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New Delhi : Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar conferred the ‘Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017 –18’ at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi on September 18, 2018. This Puraskar was launched as a follow up to the Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative started in 2014 by the Ministry of HRD.

Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, MHRD, and other officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said that Swachhta campaign has become a mass movement which is changing our mindsets and inculcating the habit of cleanliness everywhere in the country. He said that the Swachhta activities in schools will bring out a positive behavioural change in the society. The Minister reiterated that the students are ‘cleanliness ambassadors’ and they will lead the vision of Clean India of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through awareness and sensitization programs.

He informed that this edition of the award saw a phenomenal participation with 6,15,152 schools registering for the awards. This number is more than double the number of schools (2.68 lakh schools) who participated last year. He also informed that the awardee schools are being given Certificate of Recognition along with an additional school grant of Rs 50,000 through digital payment, according to a PIB release.

The Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar honours the schools that have done exemplary work in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene. These awards are given to ensure long term sustainability and behaviour change towards cleanliness. It also provides a benchmark and roadmap for schools to make further improvements. This year, first time the awards have also been extended to private schools besides government and government aided schools.

The methodology for the awards was evolved in consultation with UNICEF and Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), which were the Implementation and Technical partners for the awards. The schools voluntarily applied online through a website and mobile App for the awards and were rated through a transparent mechanism on five broad parameters of (i) Water (ii) Toilet (iii) Hand washing with Soap (iv) Operations and Maintenance (v) Behaviour Change and Capacity Building.

Out of 52 Awardee schools, 37 schools are from rural areas and 15 from urban areas. Fortyfive schools are government/government aided schools while 7 are private schools. Further, 24 are elementary and 28 are secondary/higher secondary schools. The awardee schools also include 5 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and 2 Navodaya Vidyalayas, according to a PIB release.

Four states (Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh) and 9 districts (Pondicherry, Srikakulam, Chandigarh, Hisar, Karaikal, Latur, Nellore, South Goa, Vadodara) were also awarded with Certificate of Recognition for having maximum number of schools awarded with National Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar.

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