Mysuru is among 242 cities in the country that have taken up the “Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge-2021”.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, launched the challenge themed “Manhole to Machine-hole transformation” last month to encourage more number of cities and towns to adopt mechanised cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, and motivate smaller cities to replicate.
The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) banned manual scavenging in 2011, but it had started to use machines for cleaning sewer lines since 2009.
Given that the mandate of Government of India is to ensure safety and well-being of every citizen, the Ministry launched the national challenge and also announced awards in different categories for performing cities based on their population.
MCC falls in the category of the population of 3-10 lakh. The first prize in this category is ₹10 crore, while the second and third prizes are ₹5 crore and ₹2.5 crore respectively.
“The MCC is striving hard to provide best services and create good sanitation system besides providing safe working environment to Safai Mitras (UGD workers). It needs public support and also their involvement for emerging at the national level as the best in the challenge,” a release from MCC said.
Also, in an attempt to generate awareness about the initiative and to reinforce appreciation towards Safai Mitras, the Ministry had launched a contest asking the participating cities to design uniform for Safai Mitras so that it could be worn by all Safai Mitras across the country, carrying the logo of Safai Mitra Surksha Challenge.
The MCC took up the opportunity to engage the public in the initiative and encourage them to participate. It announced the contest of designing uniform last month. Six persons have submitted their designs.
The best design was selected by a committee chaired by MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde.
The design of Asha Jayakrishnan, principal, Queens School of Design, Kuvempunagar, bagged the cash prize of ₹10,000.
At the national level, it has been found that only seven cities took part in the design contest. Mysuru is the only city in the State that took part and submitted its design to the Ministry, the release said.