The India WASH summit (16-18th Feb, 2015) organized jointly by WaterAid India, Ministries of Drinking Water and Urban Development, Government of India and partnered by several key sector agencies drew participation of about 700 key decision makers, experts, practitioners, drivers of CSR initiatives and activists from different movements of the marginalised.
This event gained special significance in the context of Swatch Bharath Mission (Clean India), the greatest ever political leadership demonstrated in India as the Honourable Prime Minister himself lead the design and launch of this programme and committed to achieve clean India by 2nd October 2019 as a tribute to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary. The summit anchored high quality sessions focused on identifying the approaches and solutions to make "Clean India by 2019" a reality.
Drawing from the FANSA's experience of engaging with SWA, Ramisetty Murali from Fresh Water Action Network South Asia (FANSA) made a presentation on the topic of "Learning and achievements of SWA Global platform and its relevance to achieving Hygiene and Sanitation Development in India".
Besides introducing the SWA Partnership, its achievements and challenges, the presentation provided a summary of the hygiene commitments tabled at the 2014 HLM and suggested policy approach and means to drive hygiene progress and monitoring under Swatch Bharath Mission. The Presence of Mr. G. Balasubramanian, Deputy Advisor, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, as the co-panelist was a good opportunity for Mr. Murali to advocate for India to consider joining SWA (See presentation).
For a majority of the participants at the session it was their first introduction to SWA. Critical issues approach was SWA’s added-value as a global partnership, the need to go beyond commitments and into a more learning and sharing platform.