Assam Minister Pallab Lochan Das emphasized on the need of coordinated efforts between government agencies and other stakeholders in tea gardens to realize the dream of swachh tea gardens in Assam.
He was addressing a one-day state level convention on ‘Sanitation in Tea Gardens of Assam’ at Assam Administrative Staff College at Khanapara in Guwahati recently.
The convention was attended by secretaries of tea associations, assistant labour commissioners, district nodal officers, representatives from NGOs, representatives of tea garden companies, labour inspectors, tea garden managers and district Swachh Bharat volunteers under TATA Trust of the State.
A total of 16 districts across Assam, who are having 800 registered tea gardens participated in the convention.
The challenges and issues related to sanitation, hygiene and WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) were the core themes of the convention with finding solutions and drawing implementable action plan involving the department of tea tribes, labour welfare and PHE were focussed in the day-long discussion.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Das said, “Behavioural change in the minds of the people should be infused. It is lack of awareness and out of sheer ignorance that even though a village has toilets, the village is still not open defecation free, as people fail to use toilets.”
A new model of Indian Household Latrine for tea gardens can be designed which may exceed Rs 12,000, which is given as incentive by the government to the beneficiaries for constructing toilets, wherein the excess amount can be contributed by the beneficiary, added the minister.