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Swachh Bharat Women’s Conclave honours women Sanitation Champions 

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) today organized a National Conclave of Women Champions for Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM(G)) to celebrate, recognize and honor the efforts of women champions in rural sanitation. The conclave was organized with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the aim of sharing best practices across States, and encouraging and honouring such efforts in parts of the country where women are playing a leadership role in SBM(G). The event saw a participation of nearly 300 women Sarpanches, Anganwadi workers, Block Development Officers and Assistant District Collectors from all across the country who have done noteworthy work in the field.
●    Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt Sumitra Mahajan, the Union Minister, Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and MDWS, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of State Shri Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Ms Vrinda Sarup, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ms Navraj Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and MD State Bank of India, attended the conclave and Shri Amitabh Bachchan sent a recorded video message for the women champions of SBM(G).
●    Speaking at the inaugural plenary session of the event, the Union Minister, MoDWS, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, said that women have been playing an important role in the SBM(G), including in its planning, implementation and monitoring in many parts of the country.
●    A video message from renowned actor, Shri Amitabh Bachchan, for women sanitation champions was also played at the event. In his message, Shri Bachchan spoke about the unique problems faced by women in villages where open defecation is still practiced today. 
●    Speaking at the inaugural plenary session of the event, the, Secretary, MoDWS, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, appreciated the efforts made by women who have led the construction and use of toilets, not only in their households, but also their entire villages and districts, women who have led self help groups that lent money to villagers to build toilets in their homes, women who were grassroots government officials as well as women civil society activists present at the event and across the country.
●    Ms Navraj Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, who is leading the sanitation revolution in the State, spoke about the progress of SBM(G) in Haryana, which has a sanitation coverage of 88%.
●    Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and MD State Bank of India, was also present at the plenary session. In her address to the participants, she spoke about the culture of ‘Panchayat pati’ in the country, and encouraged the sarpanches present to get directly and actively involved in the administrative activities that came with their offices. 

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