The United Nations Public Service Awards is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service which rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. The 'Sabar Souchagar' (toilet for all) project in West Bengal's Nadia district, framed under the state's 'Nirmal Bangla' initiative and aimed at promoting cleanliness and sanitation in rural Bengal, has been shortlisted for the United Nations Public Services Award 2015.
Mamta Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, said, "The United Nations Public Services Awards Committee has shortlisted the project for the prestigious international UN Public Services Award 2015. Besides the UN, Britain-based Loughborough University has also selected the project as an inspiring district-level model for eliminating open defecation in India and it would be felicitated at the 38th WEDC International Conference in London in July 2015. My best wishes to team Nadia for this outstanding achievement."
Last month, over 250,000 people in the district vowed not to defecate in the open. The district administration has already constructed around 272,000 toilets during the last one and a half years and another 42,000 are to be completed by April this year.