Textbook Case of Cleanliness
Mandi CLEANEST SCHOOL DISTRICT
When the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was launched in 2007, government schools in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district were a disgrace. Besides dank and dirty classrooms, less than half the 2,482 schools had toilets for students, forget separate facilities for girl students.
Today, 4,282 toilet blocks have been constructed in Mandi’s schools. Of these 1,382 are for boys and more than twice the number—2,900—for girls. Besides the Rs 11.2 crore government grant, local communities—village panchayats and residents—have contributed both in cash and through voluntary work.
“Community participation is a big part of our success here,” says Rugved Milind Thakur, the incumbent deputy commissioner, who was posted to Mandi just nine months ago.
Adjudged ‘India’s cleanest district’ among 75 districts shortlisted by the Quality Council of India (QCI) in 2016, Mandi is witnessing many positive outcomes of its sanitation success. “Separate toilets have not only resulted in an increase in the enrolment of girls,
but also significantly reduced dropout rates,” says additional deputy commissioner Raghav Sharma. Mandi, says Thakur, “has also seen a 10 per cent drop in the incidence of waterborne diseases”.
A NEW CHAPTER R.M. Thakur, Mandi DM,at a school in Jaidevi village