Head women guide Haryana villages to cleanliness awards

October 11th, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilChandigarh, Oct 11 (IANS) It will be a big moment for two women sarpanches or village heads from Haryana when they receive awards from President Pratibha Patil next week for turning their villages into role models of cleanliness and making them free from the practice of open defecation.The two villages in Gurgaon district will get Nirmal Gram Puruskar from Patil on Oct 17 at a function to be organised at the Mahabir stadium of Hisar town, 300 km from here.

These two villages, Gugana and Lohtaki, have women sarpanches: Bimla Devi is the head of Gugana village while Premwati is the head of Lohtaki village.

A state government spokesman said here Saturday that both women will get a certificate in recognition of overall cleanliness and making their villages free from traditional open-defecation practice.

Premwati, who is illiterate and learnt only to write her name along with her husband Lakhi Ram, a retired honorary captain from the army, took the lead in cleaning the village streets herself with a group of rural women. She was elected the village head woman last year unanimously.

“Premwati got the development works implemented honestly in the village. This award is all due to her efforts,” Sohana block development and panchayat officer Rishi Kumar said.

Bimla Devi also got elected to the post for the first time and despite being not so well-educated.

“But she was successful in generating awareness about cleanliness and sanitation,” pointed out district development and panchayat officer Alka Chaudhary.

Over 600 panchayats of the state will be honoured at this function for other activities.

The spokesman said that in Gugana, three community toilets have been constructed with the financial assistance of Rs.120,000 from the district administration while an amount of Rs.30,000 was contributed by the panchayat last year which played a very significant role in generating awareness among villagers about benefits of cleanliness.

Under the total sanitation campaign, 28 below-poverty-line (BPL) families of the village were provided with financial help of Rs.1,200 each for constructing toilets in their houses. As many as 27 such families in Lohtaki were provided Rs.32,400 as financial help for construction of toilets in their houses.

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