CHANDIGARH,11.07.18-Urban Health Training Centre, Indira Colony, being run by the School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh provides comprehensive package of preventive, promotive and curative health services to about 28000 slum dwellers since 2003. Urban Health Training Centre along with Public Health Development Society, Indira Colony, a multi-stakeholder committee in the area had launched Swachh Indira Colony Abhiyan in January 2016, which is first of its kind in city. Public Health Development Society and other key members of the colony had passed a resolution to achieve ‘Swachh Indira Colony’ by 31st December, 2018. To achieve the same, multiple activities are undertaken. ‘Swachh Indira Colony campaign Fortnight is being initiated from 12th July 2018 to 26th July 2018. On this occasion, an inaugural function for the launch of the campaign is being organised at Govt. High School, Indira Colony on 12thJuly 2018. Dr G Dewan, Director Health Services, Mr KK Yadav, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Vinod Aggarwal, Deputy Mayor, Dr Pradeep Vasesi, MOH, Municipal Corporation has been invited to grace the occasion along with key stakeholders of Chandigarh administration, National Service Scheme volunteers, and representatives from local government schools, Anganwadi centres, Local Welfare associations and other key local members in the area. Key activities during the fortnight will be cleanliness drives in specified areas in the colony, poster display, and focus group discussion with community members at AWCs and UHTC where women will be counselled about better sanitation solid waste management practices. Public will be educated about keeping their surroundings clean and throw garbage saggregated into the wet and dry dustbins. Pamphlets will also be distributed. Mohalla meetings are also organised periodicall to sensitize the community to keep their own surroundings clean. Fortnightly supervision of randomly selected areas for cleanliness is undrertaken under the campaign.

A fortnight was observed last year which involved cleaning drive in the railway crossing area, vicinity of religious institutions, old Indira Colony and jhuggi area

Mid term evaluation last year by series of focus group discussion in the colony have helped us recognise following issues

  • · Sense of ownership of program, i.e, people recognised the importance of maintaining cleanliness and its role in good health.
  • · Willingness to participate in the program was there but a persistence of conventional gender roles in responsibility of cleaning was shared by the participants
  • · An increased participation of family members in cleaning, the need to improve the knowledge regarding segregation of dry and wet waste at source
  • · Lack of protective gear for work force involved in cleaning. This predisposes them to occupational hazards
  • · The gender disparity in roles related to cleaning was not limited to the homes only, the working women have to work double shifts; clean at home and at office with little support by male members of the family
  • · Equity in responsibility needs to be promoted among the masses. Cleaning being primarily the responsibility of women was being discussed as “the usual thing to do”, inferring a social and moral imperative.
  • · The need for distribution of lids for the bins was expressed by the participants exhibiting the understanding of need to cover the bins
  • · Need for education on dry and wet waste management also emerged as people had incomplete knowledge on the same

Swachh Indira Colony Abhiyan aims to work towards accomplishing the vision of 'Clean India' by 2 October 2019. Despite the popularised political will via Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the success can not be achieved without public participation. Success of such initiatives will involve participation of public and public services sector. The mid-term evaluation has also been successful in understanding the areas that are perceived as important by the participants in this regard.

Urban Health Centre, Indira Colony is the only health centre in Chandigarh running Women Skill Development and Health Promotion Centre (stitching and beautician course of 6 months), where health promotion activities are carried besides development of skills among women and adolescents. Last Passout batch will be given certificates.

Dr. J. S. Thakur

Professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh