Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the 'Swachh Bharat Mission Academy', an IVR-based training course with modules on Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus programme, a statement said on Tuesday.
The ODF Plus is an extension of the ODF programme under the Swachch Bharat Mission. Its objective is to sustain the ODF programme and to take up Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).
The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) based training course contains a 60-minute module spanning various topics under ODF as well as SLWM, the statement said.
The SBM Academy was launched as part of the ongoing week-long behaviour change campaign 'Gandagi Mukt Bharat'.
In a tweet, Shekhawat said the most crucial leaders of democracy are the village 'mukhiyas' and 'sarpanchas'.
He said they will take Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Garbage Free India' to people by ensuring all villages in the country collect and segregate single use plastic.
"Saffron is for shramdaan, White is for cleanliness and Green is for the trees we plant this week. Let us hoist the Tiranga of a #GandagiMuktBharat this August 15," the minister tweeted.
The SBM Academy course has four chapters, each with four audio lessons and a multiple-choice quiz at the end of the chapter. To be considered successful, the user must answer at least 50 per cent of the questions correctly.
As of now the content of SBM Academy is in Hindi and the users are expected to dial in to a toll free number (18001800404) and complete listening to the entire content in their mobile phones, the statement added.
"For sustaining the behaviour change and promoting the capacity building of the key stakeholders i.e. Swachhagrahis and other field functionaries, this IVR based free mobile online learning course on ODF Plus will be crucial in achieving goals underlined in Phase 2 of SBM (Grameen)," the statement said.
Shekhawat added that SBM Academy, with its mobile-based technology, will significantly boost the capacity building efforts in training of Swachhagrahis as well as community-based organisations, NGOs, Self Help Groups and others who are associated with phase 2 of SBM(G).
Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), said the phone-based academy will provide this free of charge, access to on-demand, anytime, anywhere training course with high quality and standardised content over basic mobile phone and also improve the knowledge and interpersonal communication skills in order to enhance the quality of interaction with the beneficiaries.
Shekhawat said the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) has transformed rural India by manifesting into a public movement for sanitation and has led to the historic achievement of ODF declaration by all villages, districts and states on October 2, 2019, thus making rural India ODF.
The Phase II of the SBM (G) was launched early this year, which focuses on ODF sustainability and SLWM.
The programme will also work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet, the statement added.
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