NEW DELHI: In order to create a skilled workforce to carry forward the Narendra Modi government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), the Ministry of Urban Development has written to the Tata trusts to sponsor three year fellowship programme at their Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The target is to create a force of about 500 ‘Swachhagrahi’ fellows who could help urban local bodies in capacity building.
“We would like to request Tata Trusts to kindly sponsor this three year programme by TISS to add to ULBs capacities and strengthen their community engagement mandate,” said a letter written by the MoUD recently to Tata Trusts.
Given the fact that the Swachch Bharat Mission is critical in India’s development agenda, the ministry says there is a need for continued and intensive engagement with communities and citizen groups at the grass-root level by urban local bodies. “However, given the structural constraints on ULBs whose capacities are stretched to the maximum for implementing a wide variety of government programmes, there is a need for significant enhancement of ULB capacities and manpower,” said a senior official of the ministry.
The letter written to the Tata Trusts mentions, “There is a need to integrate common citizens in to the Swachh Bharat mission by deploying a cadre of professionals (to be called Swachhagrahi fellows), who can work closely with ULBs and act as an interface between the corporation and local communities.”
The official says the programme, proposed for three years, aims to start with a limited cadre of 100 swachhagrahi fellows in the first year and scale it up in subsequent years with 500 additional fellows covering all the states in the third year.
Officials said that since its launch on October 2, 2014, the country has seen an unprecedented improvement in sanitation related activities.