Skill Ministry Observes Swacchta Pakhwada to Drive Awareness on Role of Hygiene to Fight COVID-19 Epidemic

New Delhi,: In line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), and its administrative units such as NSDC, DGT and JSS observed Swachhta Pakhwada 2020 with a thematic campaign #SkillSeSwachhta from 15th – 31st July. The pakhwada aimed at raising awareness about the importance of cleanliness in our daily lives and, the role of good hygiene for healthy living.

Stressing upon hygiene during the current pandemic times, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), in collaboration with Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC) organized a webinar ‘Role of Hygiene in Fighting Covid-19 Epidemic’ and ‘Review of Preparations for Reopening of Training Centres’. The webinar aimed at empowering citizens with right information and best practices to contain spread of the pandemic. MSDE also reviewed preparations to ensure strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as preventive and response measures to reopen skill development training centers post lockdown.

The webinar was graced with the august presence of Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Senior Adviser, MSDE. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Ashish Jain, CEO, HSSC with a distinguished list of speakers on the panel – Dr. Rakesh Garg, Addl. Professor, AIIMS, Delhi, Dr. Vanita Mittal, GM, Academics, Max institute of Medical Excellence, Max Healthcare and Dr. Reeva Paul Gupta, Project Director, Tech Mahindra Foundation. Bringing together a host of experts in healthcare sector, the virtual event facilitated constructive dialogue around the significance of good hygiene for healthy living and the crucial role of skilled healthcare workforce spearheading the fight against novel Coronavirus.

MSDE has aligned its efforts to stand in solidarity with the Government to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic in India and has launched several measures to support Centre’s efforts to beef up the healthcare system. Apart from making provision for all National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs) and their hostels across the country into quarantine or isolation facilities, MSDE had provided a list of 1.5 lakh trained healthcare workers to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for deployment as healthcare warriors in the fight against coronavirus. In addition, a list of more than 2000 healthcare trainers and 500 healthcare assessors has been shared.

MSDE has issued guidelines and standard operating procedures to reopen skill training centres under PMKVY 2016-20 in strict adherence to social distancing norms and other guidelines per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Emphasizing on the role of hygiene in our fight against the global pandemic, Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “Our healthcare professionals are putting a brave front against the pandemic and are working tirelessly to provide utmost medical care and services to people affected due to coronavirus. The workforce in every sector, be it airports, hotels, hospitality or security staff, all must be trained and equipped to cater to customers under testing conditions. In the current environment, every individual can be a corona warrior by maintaining personal and environmental hygiene to contain the spread of the virus.”

She further added, “The Ministry has prescribed strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures to ensure complete safety and hygiene throughout the training process at the training centres post the lockdown.”

Speaking at the webinar, Mr. Ashish Jain, CEO, Healthcare Sector Skill Council said, “Skilled healthcare workers have been the true warriors working tirelessly towards prevention against novel Coronavirus since its outbreak in the country. Healthcare SSC, in guidance with NSDC, aims to build a stronger infrastructure and highly trained workforce by fortifying our skill development initiatives to combat the pandemic. Through Swacchata Pakhwada 2020, we aim to inspire behavioural change and emphasize on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene to ensure personal safety and wellbeing.”

MSDE has permitted its training partners to initiate the training in batches (for those the training had already started and achieved compliance) in accordance with lockdown guidelines by following social distancing and other norms as laid out in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for opening of training centers (TCs) under PMKV 2016-20. In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the training centres must follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which details a checklist of various sanitation and hygiene practices before, during and after the training sessions. Mandatory thermal scanning of individuals entering and exiting the training centre, regular sanitization and fumigation of training centre, cleaning of surfaces and training equipment with disinfectant regularly and submission of compliance report to COVID-19 guidelines every 15 days will be a few of the measures to be implemented at the training centres. (SOP is available at )