To generate awareness among people on the ills of polluting river Ganga, the Central Government has planned a cadre of thousands of youths, called Swachhta Doots. The Swachhta Doots will be groomed as volunteers and deployed in villages along the river route to raise consciousness among the local dwellers and visitors on keeping the river Ganga clean.
The step is being taken under the government’s flagship Namami Gange programme and emphasizes on using the zeal of the young to engender support of people from all walks of life in conservation of the river Ganga.
Ganga has been facing contamination from domestic and industrial effluents since long and Namami Gange is aimed at restoring the river to its lost glory.
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been entrusted with the task of building capacities of more than 20, 000 young men and women from Ganga basin states, so that they can represent Namami Gange programme as Swachhta Doots.
From over 20,000 informed youth motivators, as many as 50 enthusiastic spearhead campaigners would be identified and trained for a week. These ace campaigners will then be asked to lead this army of the young in their assigned jurisdictions in spreading the message of clean Ganga. All this will be done in consultation with village youth clubs.
The youth, once trained, would exhort and motivate local population and tourists to refrain from polluting river Ganga. They will be the new wheels on which clean Ganga awareness campaign would ride. The Swachhta Doots would not only educate the target audience about the adverse consequences of polluting Ganga but will also be an asset in providing information on existing government activities like construction of toilets, water harvesting and conservation for creation of a comprehensive database in coordination with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the implementing arm of Namami Gange programme.
The project envisages deployment of the youth in 29 districts spanning about 2,336 villages along the river in Ganga basin States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. One project officer will be assigned to each district. The project has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.