Clean Villages, Clean India
Thirty-one-year-old Priyvrat joined the SBI Youth for India fellowship with one aim – to promote community hygiene in rural India. He took a sabbatical from his job at the State Bank of India and headed to Odisha to pilot a project on decentralized waste management systems to improve sanitary conditions in Hardingo village in Ganjam District.
In a span of six months, Priyvrat was able to mobilize 177 households to adopt solid and liquid waste management and segregation practices. With the assistance of Gram Vikas, a local NGO, the gram sabha and the village sarpanch, he conducted waste audits in the village. In meetings with the villagers, he explained the benefits of community hygiene. With community support, he organized cleanliness drives, street plays and drawing competitions among school students to help promote waste management practices. By installing colour-coded dustbins to segregate waste, thereby reducing the time-consuming job of waste segregation, he made it easier for the villagers to adopt the change. He even promoted revenue generation by setting up a system for the community to sell recyclable material to the local scrap dealer, which was a great motivator for the villagers. Hardingo village will soon be a clean village. Priyvrat’s pilot project has been approved by district authorities and will be rolled out in many more villages in the district.
Pull out quote: “Through this fellowship, I hope I have inspired villagers and local government bodies that ‘Clean India’ is not just a phrase…. It is actionable with very little effort.”
Priyvrat is from Haryana. He studied mechanical engineering from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, Haryana.