Mr. Dilip Kumar Mohanty is currently working as the Executive Officer in Jatni Municipality in the Khurda district of Odisha. He joined the ranks of government service in 1989 when he was posted as the Social Education Organiser (now re-designated as the Block Social Security Officer) in the Ganjam district in the state.

In over three decades of his career, Mr. Mohanty’s most challenging posting was in the Paradip Municipality in Odisha, where he was worked as an Executive Officer for five years – from September 2015 to September 2020. When he took over the charge of the area, Paradip was among the top five polluted cities in Odisha. A major port town in eastern India, Paradip was an industrial area, which attracted a lot of daily wage earners and migrant workers, who came in search of work.

"With little or no education, these people were unaware about safe sanitation and hygiene practices and didn’t have ideas regarding segregation and disposal of waste", said Mr. Mohanty

Though the task was vast, Mr. Mohanty took it up as a challenge to clean the town and thus began Paradip’s journey towards a cleaner and greener town. As part of his efforts, he initiated the Door to Door (D2D) garbage collection process and segregation. In his initial days, he engaged the entire workforce of the Paradip Municipality to generate awareness and instigate behavioural change among the citizens of the town.

"Initially it was difficult to make people understand the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices. But we followed a chain system. The officials at the Municipality would motivate the local sanitation workers and ward officers, who would, in turn, speak to the local people. Since it was a decentralised way of working, the outreach was better and effective", said Mr. Mohanty

MO KHATA INITIATIVE


Segregation and disposal of waste was the first challenge faced by him along with issues related to solid waste management. He started the ‘Mo Khata’ initiative, which transformed the waste disposal system not only in Paradip town but in other parts of the state (Odisha) as well. The ‘Mo Khata’ is a ‘wealth from waste’ project which focuses on optimum utilization of biodegradable waste to reduce the burden on dumping yards. The sustainable waste management technique became a sought-after solution and earned him praises from the Chief Minister. In fact, Executive Officers from rest of the 113 Urban Local bodies along with their sanitation teams visited Paradip to gain a better understanding of the ‘Mo Khata’ process.

"The mission is now managed by the women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under Mission Shakti. The team at Urban Management Centre (UMC) has supported us in the formation of these SHGs of waste pickers and transgender persons and trained them to operate and maintain these facilities. In fact, now there is a ‘Mo Khata’ outlet opened near micro composting sites in the ULBs, where the manure is sold. The government of Odisha has associated it with other concerned departments like agriculture, sericulture and the forest department who purchase organic manure from these outlets and the money earned goes to the Municipality", shared Mr. Mohanty.

LEADERSHIP THAT ENSURED SAFE SANITATION IN THE PANDEMIC


While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normalcy and affected work in more ways than one, Mr. Mohanty and his team continued to navigate these challenges and help the citizens.

"It was possible because of the motivation of the workers engaged with us. When the world paused, we continued our job, which gave all of us a sense of responsibility and satisfaction. Besides some minor issues that arose, our work did not get hampered during the pandemic", said Mr. Mohanty.

LEADERSHIP AT JATNI MUNICIPALITY


In September 2020, Mr. Mohanty was transferred to Jatni Municipality, where he is currently posted and continues his excellent work. Moreover, Jatni is a commercial and educational hub that attracts a lot of people every day, many of whom travel by train. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became difficult for the officials to tackle the crowd and enforce COVID appropriate behavior the railway station. To solve this, Mr. Mohanty emphasised on creation of ward level committees that would sensitise people through IEC activities. He also constituted a team exclusively for recording and updating the migrant workers’ arrival status at the railway station. Further, not only were the citizens sensitized, but also his own team of officials engaged in day-to-day work during COVID.

GOING FORWARD

 

 

Mr. Mohanty’s next focus is to work towards ensuring Jatni’s sanitation development is integrated into the interconnected drain systems, STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) operations, setting up of smart parks and model water bodies.


National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance

The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance is a collaborative body, convened in 2016 and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working with governments and decision-makers across the country at national, state and city levels to drive safe and sustainable urban sanitation in India.

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