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Unifying Forces for Sanitation: A Commemoration of World Toilet Day at Lamdon Leh.

Collaborating seamlessly, a consortium of Civil Society Organizations, the Chief Education Officer (CEO) Leh, the Municipal Committee, and the Rural Development Department, Leh, united to commemorate World Toilet Day with the overarching theme "Accelerating Change." This collective endeavor provided a unique platform for these diverse organizations to synergize efforts toward enhancing sanitation, fostering awareness, and influencing policies and programs in the Leh region.

The World Toilet Day celebrations were strategically directed towards addressing the pressing need for improved sanitation facilities in Leh. The event served as a pivotal opportunity for organizations to converge, exchange resources and expertise, and collectively tackle the critical issues surrounding sanitation and hygiene. With a shared commitment to raising awareness and taking tangible actions, these organizations pledged to expedite transformative changes in the realm of sanitation and hygiene.

To engage and inspire the community, an Inter-School Painting cum Slogan Competition on the theme "My Dream Toilet" and an Inter-School Skit Competition on the theme "Sustainable Toilets" were organized. Students from various schools enthusiastically participated, showcasing their creativity and commitment. The winners of both competitions were duly recognized with cash prizes and certificates of excellence, emphasizing the value placed on their contributions.

The event boasted distinguished attendees, including Adv. Tashi Gyalson, the Chairman & Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC Leh, as the Chief Guest, and Sh. Tsering Angchuk, Deputy Chairman, along with several dignitaries from governmental and non-governmental organizations. Special acknowledgment was extended to the sanitation workers from MC Leh, who were honored as Guests of Honor for their essential role in ensuring a safe and clean Ladakh.

Elevating the discourse, insightful lectures on "Sanitation and Public Health" by Sh. Stanzin Rabgais, Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Leh, and "Community-Led Sanitation Initiatives" by Ama Tsering Chondol, Hon’ble President, Women Alliance of Ladakh, were delivered. A presentation on Hygiene and sanitation by the Ladakh Arts and Media organizations further enriched the knowledge-sharing aspect of the event.

Principal, Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School Dr. Stanzin Dawa in his address Emphasized the importance of advancing native technologies and safeguarding local culture, particularly in the realm of Ladakhi sanitation facilities. He underscored the necessity of uniting various stakeholders to effectively tackle the issues associated with toilets in Leh.

Advocate Tashi Gyalson, Chairman/CEC of LAHDC Leh, underscored the significance of commemorating Toilet Day as part of a global commitment to ensuring proper sanitary hygiene for everyone. He highlighted that approximately 100 underprivileged households have benefited from the 'Nyalbachan la Sangchot' scheme implemented by the Hill Council, Leh. Additionally, he noted that Ladakh has achieved the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF) plus.

The Hon'ble 'CEC also brought attention to various initiatives launched under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBM) in the district and emphasized the government's efforts to provide safe and clean drinking water through the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). CEC Gyalson commended the significant participation, particularly from the student community, in educating and creating awareness among the general public. He emphasized the importance of adopting sustainable toilets that have minimal impact on the natural environment and the ecosystem.

In his speech, Deputy Chairman, LAHDC Leh Sh. Tsering Angchuk, highlighted the importance of sanitary hygiene and stressed the necessity for proactive public awareness in promoting hygienic and cleanliness practices. He mentioned that both the Hill Council, Leh, and the UT Administration Ladakh are actively collaborating to enhance sanitary infrastructures in Ladakh. Various initiatives have already been undertaken in this regard to make significant improvements.

The enthusiastic participation of students from Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School and numerous other government and private schools, along with members of the Women Alliance, Tour and Travel Agencies, Transport Associations, and the Municipal Committee Leh, added vibrancy to the event. A collective memorandum was presented to the Hon’ble Chairman, Adv. Tashi Gyalson, outlining actionable steps for the council and the government's consideration.

The active involvement of various schools, civil societies, commercial organizations, and government bodies not only facilitated the achievement of collective goals but also served as a testament to everyone's unwavering commitment to social responsibility.

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