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Swachhta Pakhwada of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj is being observed during 1st October – 15th October 2020 with special focus on undertaking special cleanliness drive, promoting behavioural changes, improving hygiene & sanitation practices and spreading the message of Swachhta, which has assumed renewed significance to contain the spread of the Coronavirus in current times.

Swachhta Pakhwada was inaugurated by Shri Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, who administered the ‘Swachhta Pledge’ to all officers and staff at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi on 1st October 2020. Swachhta Pledge was administered in bi-lingual (Hindi and English). Similar programmes were also organised at Jeevan Prakash Building and Jeevan Bharti Building where different Divisions / Sections of the Ministry are currently located.

Senior officers and staff-members participated in shramdaan to spruce up office premises and surrounding areas of the building. An appeal on “No to Plastics” was also made while briefing the staff-members about Swachhta Pakhwada which has gained even greater importance / relevance this year in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Biodegradable paper banners have been displayed at strategic locations of the Ministry for awareness regarding Swachhta-related issues. Good quality masks and gloves etc. were distributed among housekeeping staff-members for maintaining proper hygiene in view of the present pandemic scenario.

Ministry has requested State/UT Departments of Panchayati Raj to actively participate and ensure participation of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Swachhta Pakhwada activities – adhering to social distancing and other preventive measures – with focus on widespread general cleanliness, positive behavioural changes, promoting good hand hygiene & mask etiquette during COVID-19 pandemic scenario, stop plastic use, reduce waste etc. The concerted and collective efforts of the entire Panchayati Raj network during the Swachhta Pakhwada will yield visible positive results in the country's earnest endeavour for total cleanliness and controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Sources https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1661022

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