Programmes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan became “successful” when his department “engaged women employees”, Minister of State (Personnel & Training) Jitendra Singh told Parliament on Thursday.
The question he was responding to, from Kanimozhi (DMK), was on the inclusion of women in stress-management programmes being launched by the government. “Certainly, we will not be excluding women. So, this is an all-inclusive programme. And having said that, we also believe and it is our considered belief that whenever we involve the women colleagues in this programme, the programme meets with a greater success, and our belief came true when we launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in DoPT engaging women employees,” Singh said.
“And as a clinician, I said, if you touch this file which has been lying for 30 to 60 years without being used, you are carrying home contaminated hands and feeding your children contaminated milk. And that worked wonders,” Singh said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sitting in the front row of the Rajya Sabha as Singh spoke. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is Modi’s brainchild and now a flagship programme of his government.
Singh said the government is planning to open 40 centres of yoga across the country in collaboration with the Morarji Desai Institute for Yoga to help distress central government employees.
“The DoPT has also initiated a number of activities on these lines which include yoga, sports, cultural activities and stress-relieving measures. We are in the process of evolving, learning, experimenting and also improving upon this initiative. We will certainly try to take good cues, good practices from wherever they arise… And in the month of April we shall start, across the country, as many as 40 centres of yoga in collaboration with well-known and credible Morarji Desai Institute for Yoga,” Singh said. He added camps would be organised and, if required, yoga classes could be extended to officials working in public sector units.