In order to achieve the targets and objectives of the Swacch Bharat Mission (SBM), it is necessary to bring about behavioural change in communities on a large scale. The Government of India has selected some organisations as Key Resource Centres (KRCs) at the national level to impart training on various issues related to water and sanitation and best practices to motivated leaders and communities. As a part of this, the Mission Directorate of the state of Assam has engaged some of the selected KRCs for supporting districts in capacity building and social mobilising activities. CEE is one of the National Key Resource Centres under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. A pilot project was initiated in Assam by the Mission Directorate in three districts: Morigaon, Nagaon and Barpeta, to select motivated Swachhagrahis and enhance their skills and capacities to fulfill the goals of SBM (Gramin). CEE provided training to swachhagrahis of Barpeta District under the auspices of the District Water Sanitation Committee (DWSC).

The training covered:

  • The goals and objectives of Swacch Bharat Mission - Gramin
  • Communication tools that can be used to mobilise communities for effective behaviour change
  • Information pertaining to WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), ODF (Open Defecation Free), scientific aspects of toilets and their usage, use of sanitary toilets and Solid Liquid Waste Management interventions
  • How to generate awareness in schools and anganwadis for bringing about behavioural changes in schools and children, and safe disposal of child excreta
  • Motivation of the Swacchagrahis to take up the responsibility for mobilising the community so as to make it a cleaner and safer place

The project activities included a one-day training of swachhagrahis and swachhatadoots conducted at Barpeta District that used participatory methods like presentations, interactions and activities on different aspects of Swachh Bharat Mission. Activities like demo on hand-washing, and community mapping were conducted to understand unhygienic practices and ways to change them.

The training facilitated the Swacchagrahis from different regions and Gram Panchayats of the district to interact with each other and to share experiences. It provided capacity building on not only sanitation and hygiene but also on communication skills for effective behaviour change in communities.