NIRMAL BHARAT YATRA: 2000 KM Journey Across Five States in 51 days in India to Spread Awareness of Sanitation and Hygiene

Nirat Bhatnagar (Principal, Quicksand Design Studio), Jitendra Shankar Mathur (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation), Jairam Ramesh (Hon’ble Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation), Vidya Balan (Actress and Sanitation Ambassador), Rajeev Batra, (Group Head- Corporate Affairs, Hindustan Unilever Limited) , Rohini Nilekani (Chairperson, Arghyam) and  Thorsten Kiefer (Executive Director, WASH United)
From Left: Nirat Bhatnagar (Principal, Quicksand Design Studio), Jitendra Shankar Mathur (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation), Jairam Ramesh (Hon’ble Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation), Vidya Balan (Actress and Sanitation Ambassador), Rajeev Batra, (Group Head- Corporate Affairs, Hindustan Unilever Limited) , Rohini Nilekani (Chairperson, Arghyam) and  Thorsten Kiefer (Executive Director, WASH United)

Gurgaon, September 28 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Nirmal Bharat Yatra(NBY)is an epic journey across 5 states in India, spanning nearly 2,000 kilometres over 51 days with a total reach of over crore people, to spread awareness about sanitation.

Starting from Wardha (Maharashtra), the centre of the Quit India Movement on October 3rd, the Yatra will reach Indore (Madhya Pradesh) on October 14th, Kota (Rajasthan) on October 22nd, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) on October 31st, Gorapkpur (Uttar Pradesh) on November 9th and will end at Bettiah (Bihar), the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha, on November 17th.

The Yatra will resemble a travelling village fair,a toilet and hygiene mela, that harnesses the passion for cricket, the glamour of Bollywood, the fun of interactive games towards creating a “masala” of positive excitement around the long-neglected issues of sanitation and hygiene across India. More specifically, the NBY raises awareness of and facilitates behaviour change around sanitation and hand-washing with soap. In addition, the NBY also tackles the persisting taboos around menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in India. It will also implement a WASH in schools' programs involving children in each location to promote hygiene and sanitation in a fun and friendly way via games and singing and dance competitions.

The Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation looks upon Nirmal Bharat Yatra as an excellent opportunity to generate awareness and demand for sanitation facilities in the rural areas of the country. The initiative is supported by WASH United and Quicksand. Other partners include Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Arghyam/India Water Portal, WaterAid, Unicef, Eawag, and Goonj.

The Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh, will kick off the Yatra in Wardha on October 3rd. He has pledged his commitment to the Yatra and will be present at all locations of the Yatra.  The Yatra will also see an extended involvement from Chief Ministers of several states in India, and other senior political leaders and bureaucrats. In addition, the Yatra will enjoy the support of some of India’s biggest cricket heroes.


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