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Say hello to our heroes
- Panchayat worker, DC, who pitched for toilets and safe water, felicitated on World Environment Day

Mahesh Prasad Yadav, a mukhiya in Koderma district, motivated 80 per cent of villagers to drink safe water by opting for a piped water connection by paying the required water tax.

Mary Urain, a panchayat worker, convinced residents to make Gadri village under Bero panchayat of Ranchi district, free of open defecation.

Sahela Parveen, a block coordinator of Dhanbad district, encouraged 60 per cent people of Latani panchayat to construct toilets and even inspired them to opt for safe drinking water supplied through a pipeline.

On World Environment Day on Thursday, state drinking water and sanitation department felicitated 17 such individuals, including a deputy commissioner, and institutions for using innovative methods to promote sanitation in rural interiors.

They were selected from among 87 nominations judged by an independent agency on the basis of a set of parameters, said additional chief secretary and department in-charge Sudhir Prasad who felicitated some of the awardees.

The awardees were presented with a shawl, memento and a certificate. They would also receive cash awards between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 soon. “We have to construct 40 lakh toilets in the state by 2022 of which 2.5 lakh units will be constructed during the current financial year,” said sanitation department chief engineer Samir Kumar Dan.

Yadav, who is mukhyia of Charidih panchayat in Koderma district, said his mission to ensure safe drinking water to residents of his panchayat was almost complete.

“I will now work towards constructing 1,200 toilets that will make it completely open defecation free,” he said, adding convergence of various government schemes would ensure uninterrupted funding and expedite the work.

Mukesh Kumar, deputy commissioner of Latehar, was posted in Khunti when he drew up an annual action plan for improving the status of sanitation in the district involving both government officials and panchayat representatives.

He was felicitated for his initiative that worked wonders in Torpa block, eventually declared open defecation free.

“I have taken charge of Latehar district barely three months ago and got busy with the Lok Sabha elections. Now, I will draw up an action plan for Latehar, too” he said.

Kumar said he hoped to do better this time using his experience in Khunti district to rectify mistakes.