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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 4, 2007
Kalam to present Nirmal Gram Puraskar awards
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Kalam to present Nirmal Gram Puraskar awards

President A P J Abdul Kalam will distribute the third Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) awards to selected Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) functionaries here this evening.

New Delhi, May 4 : President A P J Abdul Kalam will distribute the third 'Nirmal Gram Puraskar' (NGP) awards to selected Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) functionaries here this evening.

Kalam is participating in the programme for the third consecutive time since 2004.

The NGP is a national award instituted by Government of India to recognize the efforts made by PRIs, individuals and organizations in promoting rural sanitation coverage.

As per the scheme, the awards are to be given to those PRIs which attain full sanitation coverage and become defecation free.

The number of award winners has risen from 40 in 2005, to 769 in 2006, and to over 4000 in 2007.

Applications for the NGP award were received from 9,745 Gram Panchayats, 120 Block Panchayats and two District Panchayats from 24 states during the year 2006-07.

The applications received were initially scrutinised by the Department of Drinking Water Supply, the Ministry of Rural Development, and then verified by independent monitoring agencies in the field.

Based on the recommendations received from the independent evaluators, the National Committee on NGP has selected 4,437 Gram Panchayats and Block Panchayats from 22 States for awards for the year 2007.

The first NGP was given by Dr. Kalam to 40 PRIs from six states on February 24, 2005 in recognition of their outstanding efforts to eliminate the practice of open defecation in their respective panchayats.

As part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), the NGP was announced on October 2, 2003, as a national award instituted to honor, facilitate and encourage those Panchayati Raj Institutions, which have attained total sanitation in their respective area.

A 'Nirmal Gram' is an "open defecation free" village with all houses, schools and anganwadis having sanitary toilets and community is aware of the importance of maintaining hygiene, good sanitation and a clean environment.

The NGP has contributed in accelerating the pace of the TSC, which has been in operation since 1999.

The TSC is currently operational in 572 districts with an outlay of Rs. 11,375 crore in which Central, State and community contributions are Rs.7,092 crore, Rs. 2,505 crore and Rs. 1,778 crore respectively.

With sustained efforts and Government-people partnership, 3.19 crore household toilets, 9,997 community sanitary complexes, 3.57 lakh school toilets and 1.10 lakh Aganwadi toilets have been constructed and 6,856 production centers/ Rural Sanitary Marts (RSMs) have been set up in Gram Panchayats under TSC till March 2007.

Under the TSC scheme, the target is to provide all household access to sanitary toilets by 2012.

India has committed itself to achieving the 55 percent coverage of rural households by 2015 as per the Millennium Development Goals. It is, however, estimated that the target may be achieved earlier, by the end of 2009.

ANI

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