India Sanitation Coalition is a great idea. I would like to begin by congratulating my friend Naina Kidwai for her vision, for her leadership, for her conceiving such a first of its kind idea. Also congratulations to FICCI for taking, as usual a lead in furtherance of a national cause. Thanks to the clarion call by our Hon'ble Prime Minister, sanitation has rightly received unprecedented attention, indeed it has taken the form of a national movement. One cannot fail to see the multiple players doing some wonderful work across different thematic areas in different geographic locations. And they are doing it with great passion, with great commitment to a vital social cause.
However, what was missing was the national recognition of the great work by many players. ISC came in to provide precisely the much-needed platform for such players to showcase their achievements, and quantum of innovative and sustainable solutions that they had created to achieve the goals of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. I am honoured to chair the jury again for the selection of the winners for the second of the ISC FICCI Sanitation awards, 2018. The field of sanitation is,of course, close to my heart.
I have been involved in Swachh Bharat Mission in different ways, like for example, I chair the Technology Expert committee of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. I also chair a Technology Expert Committee, Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs dealing with issues of municipal solid waste and allied issues. In both the committees, we have been targeting technologies for our nation that are affordable, scalable, sustainable, socially acceptable and rapidly deployable. But all this selection will lead to work for the future. ISC- FICCI awards are for whatever outstanding work that has been already done in the nation.
This year, we had six categories of awards. They covered all players, industry, NGOs, Government, media and so on. The jury applied very rigorous criteria for selection. We had to ensure that the final winners had made an actual and major impact with demonstrable speed, scale and sustainability. I am proud of the way the process was conducted, without exaggeration, I can say that the selection process was not just 'best' practice but 'next ‘practice. On behalf of all the Jury, I want to thank ISC and FICCI for giving us this opportunity to learn about the great work that is going on in the field of sanitation and then take a call on who stood tall amongst the contestants. We want to also thank the supporting teams from ISC and FICCI for their hard work and meeting the exacting demands of the hard jury for hard data and evidence.
And finally, we want to congratulate the winners for their amazing achievements, sometimes under such adverse conditions. We salute you for your determination to transform the society, and in turn the nation. You stand there as exemplars of innovation, compassion and passion. The nation is proud of you.