Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Swachh Bharat Summer Internship Programme

Q. 1 What is Swachh Bharat Summer Internship?

A. The program aims to ensure the engagement of lakhs of educated youth across the country, develop their skill and orientation for sanitation related work, amplify mass awareness of Swachh Bharat Mission.

Q. 2. What is the duration of this internship programme?

A. At least 100 hours (between 1st May to 31st July 2018)

Q. 3. What is the Enrollment Date for this internship programme?

A. From 25th April 2018 to 15th June 2018

Q.4. Can we participate as a team?

A. You can participate as a team as well as an individual. Maximum 10 students can participate in one team.

Q. 5. What is the role of a Nodal Officer?

A. A Nodal officer is an authorized official from University/ College/ District Youth Coordinator (NYKS) who verifies the students details, who have applied for the internship programme.

Q. 6. Who is my Nodal Officer?

A. Nodal Officer’s name and address gets displayed on the form once you select your college/ district (NYKS) from dropdown menu

Q. 7. After the form submission, whom should I contact?

A. Please wait for 2-3 days for your nodal officer to approve your enrollment. You will get an e-mail or SMS alert once your registration gets approved

Q. 8. It’s been more than a week my nodal officer has not approved my enrollment even after reminders. Where should I escalate to get the approval?

A. Please contact higher authorities at your college/ universities/ Zonal Level (NYKS)

Q. 9. My Nodal Officer has rejected my registration request. What should I do?

A. Please login to check the dashboard where you can see the rejection reason and do the needful to revive your request

Q. 10. Can I select a different village which is not appearing in the list?

A. No. This program is applicable only for the given village list. You can select villages for internship either from your State/UT of permanent address or from State / UT of your institute

Q. 11. I am not able to select the Village out of my eligility. Why?

A. At most 10 interns can be assigned to a village and that limit has been exhausted.

Swachh Bharat Summer Internship Website

Q. 1. How should I register for the internship?

A. The only way to register is through the online website. There is no offline mechanism to register. To participate in this programme, intern needs to register by clicking on register button in Home page. Once the user is registered he/she can
login to participate.

Q.2. How do I update my contact and profile info?

A. There is a link given below ‘Email ID’ field in Student enrollment form which will take you to the main ‘’ website to enable the editing

Q. 3. My college name is not reflecting in the dropdown list. Can I participate in this program?

A. You can participate in the program only if your college is registered or you are registered with NYKS (Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan)

Q. 4. I am facing technical issue in enrolling myself on the website?

A. Probe the kind of issue being faced and raise ticket under the relevant category and please contact our helpline

Q. 5. My login ID is blocked due to multiple entry of wrong password

A. Raise ticket under the relevant category and contact our helpline

Q. 6. I am not getting OTP on my mobile

A. Raise ticket under the relevant category and contact our helpline

Q. 7. ‘’ website is not working properly

A. Raise ticket under the relevant category and contact our helpline

Q. 8. How can I correct/update Nodal Officer information?

A. Raise ticket under the relevant category and contact our helpline

Sanitation and Swachh Bharat Mission

Q. 1. What do we mean by ‘sanitation’?

A. Sanitation as a whole is a “big idea” covering everything from safe collection, and disposal of human excreta (faeces and urine); to the management of solid wastes (trash or rubbish).

Q. 2. What is Open Defecation (खुले में शौच)?

A. Open defecation is the human practice of defecating outside, in the open environment. People often choose fields, bushes, forests, ditches, canals or other open space for defecation. Open defecation causes:

  • Loss of dignity
  • Diseases like Diarrhoea, Cholera, Epilepsy, Environmental Enteropathy
  • Malnutrition and Stunting
  • Increased medical expenditure in rural India

These diseases cause death of over 1 lakh children in the country annually. These deaths could be prevented by adopting safe toilet practices and usage, hand washing with soap before meals and after defecation and general cleanliness in surroundings.

Q. 3. What are the three key hygiene behaviors that lead to the greatest reduction in diarrheal diseases?

The F-diagram on faecal-oral transmission routes shows that safe sanitation is a combination of facilities and hygiene behaviors. The following three hygiene behaviors lead to the greatest reduction in diarrheal diseases:

  • Safe disposal of faeces, including infants’ faeces
  • Hand-washing at critical times, after defecation, after cleaning children’s faeces and before eating or handling food
  • Proper and safe handling of drinking water at source and at point of consumption

Q. 4. What ‘Open Defecation Free’ mean (खुले में शौच से मुक्त)?

A. Open Defecation Free (ODF) has been defined as:

  • No visible faeces found in the environment/village; and
  • Every household as well as public/community institutions using safe technology option for disposal of faeces

(Safe technology option means no contamination of surface soil, ground water or surface water; excreta inaccessible to flies and animals; and freedom from odour and unsightly condition)

Q. 5. Why does open defecation still continue?

A. Many reasons, including:

  • low awareness of the potential health and economic benefits of better sanitation,
  • a perception of high costs of having a household toilet
  • perceived convenience of open defecation
  • socio-cultural beliefs and practices, such as the assumption that “having the toilet and kitchen in the same compound is impure”

Q6. What is Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)?

A. The Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) {SBM-G} on 2nd October, 2014 to accelerate efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage, improve cleanliness and eliminate open defecation in India by 2nd October 2019. The program is considered India’s biggest drive to improve sanitation, hygiene and cleanliness in the country. It is considered as world’s biggest behavior change programme. The emphasis is on stronger focus on behaviour change intervention including interpersonal communication; strengthening implementation and delivery mechanisms down to the GP level while taking into account local cultures, practices, sensibilities and demands. Additional focus is laid on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems in rural areas.

Q7. What are the main activities that are carried out under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)?

A. The main activities are:

  • Behaviour change of people to use toilets
  • Information, Education and Communication (IEC) &Human Resource Development (HRD) activities.
  • Construction of Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) and Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs)
  • Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities

Q8. What is the incentive provided under the programme, and who gets it?

A. Incentive is provided to households for building and using toilets. All Below Poverty Line (BPL) Households and Above Poverty Line (APL) households restricted to SCs/STs, small and marginal farmers, landless labourers with homestead, physically handicapped and women headed households are eligible for this incentive, and have been recorded by the respective Gram Panchayat. The details of incentive being provided may be obtained from respective Gram Panchayats/ Block/ District level authorities.

Q9. What is Information, Education and Communication (IEC)?

A. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities serve as a platform for informing, educating and persuading people to realize their roles, responsibilities and benefits accruing from investing in right sanitation practices. IEC activities play a very critical role in bringing behavior change on various aspects of safe sanitation, creating effective demand, usage and links to health and hygiene. The role of IEC in demand generation for sanitary facilities is well recognized.

Q10. How feasible is it to change the habit of open defecation?

A. Numerous examples of successful change exist. More and more communities pride themselves in achieving the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. Community-led approaches that educate households, along with the availability of local and sustainable solutions and services, are a first step towards changing entrenched habits. Additionally, teaching school children facts about health risks and safe hygiene practices helps them develop essential life skills that they share with their families.

Q11. Why focus on collective rather than individual behavior change?

A. Open defecation is a private behavior that has public consequences. Therefore, even if a few individual households switch to safe, fixed point defecation, the overall risk of disease and contamination continues to be high. Most conventional sanitation programs promote sanitation from the supply-side, focusing on toilet construction for individual households. By contrast, the total sanitation approach focuses on mobilizing demand for safe sanitation at the community level rather than establish individual household contacts.

Q12. Why are children often the target audience for IEC activities?

A. Children can contribute to the sanitation work in many ways, including:

  • Helping mobilize people by organizing processions in the village shouting slogans against the practice of open defecation in the morning and evening
  • Visiting households in groups and motivating people using Gandhian ways of persuasion
  • Request elders to not defecate in the open and cover their faeces with soil
  • Maintain cleanliness in the school toilets and adopt hygiene practices like washing hands with soap at critical times, using tooth brush, cutting nail, combing hair, etc
  • Carry these messages back home to motivate their families to improve sanitation and hygiene practices

Q13. Are children’s faeces harmless?

Many people believe that faeces from babies or children are harmless. This is not true. A child’s faeces contain just as many pathogens as an adult’s faeces and must be disposed of safely in a toilet or by burying in the ground. Great care should be taken to wash the infant with soap and water after defecation and to wash hands after handling an infant’s faeces.

Q14. Why focus on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education?

A. Some of the benefits of investing in School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) are as follows:

  • Promotes better learning: children are likely to learn better in a clean and hygienic environment
  • Increases enrolment of girls: school toilets have been proven to be linked with continued education enrolment of teenage girls and young women, particularly at puberty
  • Health benefits: school sanitation and hygiene facilities reduce the risk of spread of diarrheal diseases and worm infestations.

Q15. Who is responsible for school and Anganwadi toilets in villages?

A. The responsibility of construction of school toilets is with the Department of School Education and Literacy and of Anganwadi toilets to the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Gram Panchayat may be approached for facilitating the same under the appropriate programmes.

Q16. Some household lack space for constructing toilets. How is that issue dealt with?

The issue is not about availability of space but about the lack of felt need for safe sanitation. Some innovative ways to tackle this issue are:

  • In many villages, toilets have been constructed on land donated by the GP or other members of the community
  • Two neighbors can have separate superstructures and squatting slabs but share a common pit
  • Households which do not have adequate space in the house for building toilets can come together to construct community or group toilet facilities
  • In case of ‘pucca’ house construction, the toilet squatting slab and superstructure can be on the roof of the house but the pit can be under the main room of the house

Q17. How is scarcity of water dealt with while using a toilet?

A. Communities have built and are using toilets even in drought-prone areas. Therefore, the issue is not availability of water but lack of a felt need for safe sanitation. This is because:

  • Using a toilet takes a little bit more water than what people use for anal cleansing when they defecate in the open
  • The slope of the pan can be designed with a steep gradient so that it uses minimal water
  • Pouring a little water in the pan before defecating, combined with the slope of the pan, will ensure that feces does not stick and also maintain cleanliness

Q18. What are the benefits of twin pit toilets, recommended as a part of SBM (G)?

A. Following are the benefits of the twin pit technology:

  • Affordable and easy to construct with locally available materials
  • Is sustainable and can be used for long time by switching between pits
  • Design and specifications can be modified to suit householder’s needs and affordability
  • Eliminates mosquitoes, insect and fly breeding
  • Can be constructed in different physical, geological and hydrogeological conditions
  • Free from health hazards and does not pollute surface or ground water, if proper precautions and safeguards are taken during construction.
  • Can be located within the premises (house) as it is free from foul smell and fly/mosquito
  • Maintenance is easy, simple and costs very little.
  • Needs only 1 to 1.5 litres of water for flushing, while conventional flush toilet needs 12 to 14 litres of water
  • Needs less space than a septic tank toilet system
  • Cleaning of pits or disposal of sludge can easily be done by the householder
  • Makes available rich fertilizer and soil conditioner

Q19. What all should an ideal twin pit toilet have?

A. While getting a twin pit toilet constructed, following issues should be kept in mind:

  • Leach pit should not be more than four feet deep
  • The middle portion of the bottom of the pit should be kept in natural condition for leaching of liquids
  • No excessive honeycombing (there should not be more than 2-inch gap between bricks)
  • Junction chamber should have proper slope at the bottom and it should have a smooth finishing and should be in Y shape
  • Excreta conveying pipes should have slope of 1:10
  • Don’t use a vent pipe
  • Maintain a distance of 1 meter between leach pits. Water source should be 10-15 meter away from the twin-pit toilet
  • Raised leach pit structure for depressions and water-logged areas

Q20. What is the difference between a leach pit and septic tank?

A. A leach pit has lower initial cost and requires practically nil periodic maintenance. The decomposed excreta becomes harmless bio-fertilizer and needs to be removed once in three to five years and not daily, making this advantageous from an environmental point of view. By contrast, wastes are not decomposed in a septic tank and need to be pumped out mechanically once the tank is full. The sludge deposited in the tank needs to be safely disposed of.

Q.21 Doesn’t a shallow pit toilet get filled very fast?

  • A 1x1m depth pit toilet which is used daily by five to six people, will take four to five years to get filled up. This is because a large percentage of feces is water which gets soaked away while the solids accumulate in the pit
  • In a dual pit toilet, the second pit can be used once the first pit is nearly full. The first pit is then filled up with soil. After 18 months, feces in the first pit will get completely decomposed and even the most persistent pathogens would have been destroyed. The contents of the pit may be used as fertilizer
  • When another pit is required, the contents of the first pit can be dug out (it is easier to dig than undisturbed soil) and the pit can be used again

Q22. Is the compost derived from toilet pits safe?

A. Yes. Left for 18 months in the pit, the excreta turns into bio-fertilizer. In a dual pit toilet, it can be safely taken out without the risk of health hazards provided there is no seepage of effluent from the adjoining pit which is in use.

Q23. What is Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM)?

A. Effective Solid Liquid Waste Management includes management of biodegradable and non biodegradable waste, management of all grey water generated in the village and general cleanliness of the village.

As a part of SLWM, activities like compost pits, vermi composting, biogas plants, low cost drainage, soakage channels/ pits, reuse of waste water and system for collection, segregation and disposal of household garbage and menstrual hygiene management among many other can be taken up.

Q24. What are some tips for engaging communities?

A. Following are some tips on engaging collectives and communities:

  • Greeting and introducing yourself
  • Explaining the purpose of visit
  • Setting the tone, breaking ice and understanding the community
  • Remaining cognizant of communication (preferably use local language and non-threatening body language)
  • Make it clear from the very beginning that you are not a government officer and are not authorized to provide any monetary or other support on behalf of the government
  • Don’t promise anything to the community that you cannot deliver (e.g. funds support, etc.)

Q25. How to effectively communicate the message of sanitation?

A. Following elements could be kept in mind while engaging with communities:

  • Content: Messages to be delivered in a simple, positive and clear language that is accurate, comprehensible and relevant to the audience
  • Context: Ensure that messages are identifiable and sensitive to the socio-cultural context of the audience
  • Organization: Effective presentation and layout of messages in diverse media including innovative use of audio and visual aids to attract and embed messages in audiences’ mind space
  • Acceptable: Messages to model the principles of human dignity, gender and equity and not promote unsustainable practices
  • Appeal: Messages to engage and motivate their audience to change inappropriate sanitation related behaviors

Q26. What are the other reference material one should go through and use?