Youth spearhead the #CleanPatnaDrive in Bihar

Youth spearhead the #CleanPatnaDrive in Bihar

Oxfam India has begun response in Patna, which is reeling under the aftermath of floods. Almost 100 people have lost their lives and over 20 lakh are affected. Diseases have taken a toll over hundreds of families. There are more than 1100 cases of dengue fever and 30 slums are in immediate need of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.

The humanitarian team has started providing water tankers and installation of mobile toilets in 12 worst affected slums in the state capital to further prevent diseases. Work Studio Co-working, Diksha Foundation and Patna Beats were part of the rescue and relief work. 

While this can be called routine, what has given a boost to our drive is the huge participation of youth. The Bihar team was planning a cleaning drive, and reached out to a few gender champions and before they could know they were steering the  #CleanPatnaDrive.

The drive is a joint initiative of Patna diaries, Patna Shots and Oxfam India.  Youth collectives such as —Welfare United, Robin Hood Academy, Bihar Chatra Sansad, The Tooth Doctors, Samar Charitable Trust, students from Patna University, Singing Footsteps Foundation, Protect and Awaken Girl's Consortium and many more — joined the call. 

What started with 30 volunteers grew to 50 in a matter of days. They came forward to lead the drive in 12 slums. The youth garnered huge support, mobilised resources and more volunteers. On Oct 5, Oxfam India provided training to the volunteers, and provided bleaching powder and equipment required for cleaning. Oxfam India’s Sushmita Goswami has spearheaded this drive.

To give a sense of what the volunteers are doing, here’s an update. On October 6, #CleanPatnaDrive started in Mahmudichak and East Lohanipur. They started at 7 am and by 10 am, they had cleaned and collected around 100-120 litres of garbage and sprayed around 50kgs of bleach to disinfect the streets. 

Bollywood actor Kranti Prakash Jha joined in the efforts of the youth and Oxfam India. The youth collectives plan to continue this initiative by investing 2-3 hours every Sunday to clear up the water logged streets in Patna.

Kudos to the efforts of everyone, especially the Oxfam India Patna office staff and the youth volunteers for truly ‘walking the Humanitarian talk’!

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