Swacchameva Jayate

Sumedh Pande
Jun 12, 2019 · 12 min read

Design for behavior change towards waste management, water and sanitation.

Waste management, sanitation and water conditions of any country are a mark of it’s progress. Each of these is a cultural phenomenon…a direct function of human behaviour and rituals.

As human beings, we tend to ritualize our daily activities 24x7. From washing with water to clean up every morning, to dumping the previous day’s garbage, taking a bath to ‘cleanse’ the body before a meal to even taking a dip in the Ganges to ‘cleanse the soul’, each activity is second nature to us.

Decoding Behaviour Change

Since waste, water and sanitation practices are so deeply coded in our psyche and the rituals are more important than the filth they leave behind, it is imperative that to change people’s behaviour towards sanitation and water, we create a new set of rituals.

For 6.41 crore people who call Karnataka their home. For a new generation, which is looking at life differently.

“Culture is the widening of mind and spirit”
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

We often tend to overlook the fact that cleanliness, waste management and water related practices are as much community and surrounding driven as they are individual centric.

An overarching approach is not the ideal solution.

Simply because each village and district in Karnataka has its own, unique impediments and mindsets. Creating infrastructure such as toilets etc. alone cannot drive the change. People need to start using them and continue to use them.

Under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the efforts of Dept. of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Govt of Karnataka have resulted in the State achieving 100% ODF status in 2018. How do we sustain this?

With water levels depleting fast and garbage dumpsters overflowing, how do we raise awareness and ensure positive outcomes?

An inside-out approach

Govt. of Karnataka is working round the clock to create infrastructure for cleanliness, water and hygiene.

In just 8 months, 73 lakh toilets have been built. 4 lakh new toilets are being added. 1,000 villages across the State are getting Solid Waste Management units. 20,000 check dams are being built. 14,000 water bodies are being rejuvenated. Over 30 lakh saplings are being planted per day. 2 crore saplings are being distributed.

But infrastructure alone cannot be the solution. The urge to change needs to be awakened within the people.

How do we create a movement that can inspire the people of Karnataka to embrace a new culture of cleanliness? Bring about a paradigm shift in behaviors, rituals and practices?

The solution…Design.

As design partners to the Dept. of RDPR, Govt. of Karnataka, we, Spread Design and Innovation are using design to shape and influence people’s behaviour. Using mindful design, to achieve responsible action by raising critical awareness of the different solutions and possible outcomes available. To spread and perpetuate a new culture of cleanliness across the State. Design thinking, as a methodology and tool to change the mindset of every woman, man and child towards waste segregation, sanitation and water. Aligning all stakeholders, influencers and end users.

To create a movement and an output driven framework to catalyse this change inside out, not just top down!

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Cleanliness is victory. Cleanliness is truth.

How do we awaken this culture, that is so deeply entrenched in our minds and hearts? Spread this truth? Victory for the State lies in people’s participation in Swachhata. While a lot of work has been done by the State Govt, it is time for the people of Karnataka to take initiatives as active, responsible stakeholders and partners.

We have conceptualised and designed Swachhameva Jayate, to take message of Swachhata to every household in every village and district of Karnataka.

Leveraging the power of familiarity, Swachhameva Jayate is a clarion call to every resident in every village and district to take the Swachhata pledge, join the movement to make Karnataka cleaner, greener and healthier, and ensure that there is water for ever, for everyone.

Swachhameva Jayate aims to create an integrated Information, Education, Communication and Activation (IEC) framework which will enable large scale cultural and behavioural change in a wide cross section of society — in the context of rural sanitation, waste management and water practices. To transform behaviour across socio-economic groups.

  • 6.41 crore people
  • 30 districts
  • 29000+ villages

When every household, every village, every district embraces waste segregation, hygienic toilet habits and smart water conservation practices, Karnataka will win. Swachhameva Jayate!

Children as Champions of Swachhata

While changing adult behaviour takes more time and effort, children are a lot more amenable to change. Children are spontaneous, honest and full of infectious energy. They have the power to create the India of tomorrow.

The children of Karnataka are becoming the drivers of this new culture of cleanliness. Their active participation is adding momentum to Swachhameva Jayate.

As the champions of Swachhata, children are playing a key role in spreading awareness of the various Swachhata parameters in every district, every village of Karnataka.

Swachhameva Jayate: Design Impact

Swachhameva Jayate is being rolled out as a statewide multimedia campaign. The impact of the design and communication pieces is rippling out in massive waves.

Insights from the field

At the onset of Swachhameva Jayate, Team Spread has undertaken an intensive primary research methodology. Mapping the State into 5 Zones. Travelling across 2000 km to the districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu in the Coastal Karnataka zone, documenting the attitudes, behaviours and practices towards sanitation, waste management and water among people and communities in ten days across 18 villages in 12 Taluks. To arrive at insights which then drive the strategic and design direction.

  • 15 Days
  • 12 Taluks
  • 18 Villages
  • 2000 Km

Key Insights
The Primary Research has culled out the following key insights:

Women are Torchbearers
Women seem to be the drivers of change, across all the regions visited. We need to focus more on women as the agents of change. They are much more inclined towards taking positive action towards sanitation, waste management and water.

Outsiders are culprits
Outsiders and migrants, namely tourists, workers etc seem to be doing much more damage than insiders, especially when it comes to waste. We need to make this migrant population aware of the consequences of their actions and create communication to inspire behaviour change among them.

Homegrown solutions
Homegrown products and solutions seem to exist which can be implemented and scaled up across rural Karnataka. The SLRM model and Compost pipe are few instances of these. We need to make people believe that it is possible for them to use such solutions on their own and benefit from it.

People do… People Win
Where the people of the village are involved, systematic waste management, good water practices and sanitation levels are much higher.

Simplifying the Idea
While people are aware of the need to embrace Swachhata, how do you nudge them to actually start practicing it?

To simplify the idea of Swachhata, and create onground action among the people, a set of posters, flipcharts and instructional stamps have been designed. These simple, action oriented, graphic communication pieces are already going viral across the State, in traditional and digital media.

Going Viral on New Media

Leveraging the power of the vernacular, we are conceptualizing, shooting, editing and creating multiple films to spread the call for Swachhata across Karnataka. These include influencer films, live action/mix media instructional films. In parallel, the Swachhameva Jayate anthem has been created, and is being sung in every classroom in rural Karnataka. To spread virally on social media, and bring forth the desired change.

Medium is truly the message

When you wish to start a movement with the people, how do you ensure greater reach, within faster timeframes, cost effectively to ensure maximum impact? The solution…using medium as the message.

Toilet doors across Karnataka are being painted yellow, as a mark of cleanliness.

Vibrant wall paintings inspired by traditional art, showcasing people practicing waste segregation, using toilets and saving water are being created in every village.

Training Digital Swachhagrahis

Using Design Thinking as a methodology, immersive Workshops are being conducted to train Swachhagrahis and IEC consultants across the State in the latest tools and technology for documentation. To transform them into digital Swachhagrahis.

  • 8 hours
  • 2 Design Mentors
  • 90+ Swachhagrahis trained
Digital Swachhagrahi Guide

Creating a new set of Symbols

Every movement needs its own set of icons and symbols, to resonate deeper among the people. Harnessing cultural connotations and the power of familiarity helps spread the message faster.

The Swachhameva Jayate identity combines a graphic representation of the map of Karnataka, a little Huduga (boy) and Hudugi (girl) and the Swachhameva Jayate message rendered in both Kannada and English. The map reflects the scale and reach of the survey. The illustration of children bring alive the core strategy of making them the heroes. Bilingual messaging is used for local and global impact. The colours are a vibrant yellow and red, inspired by the colours of the Karnataka flag.

‘Byallali Beda’/ ‘Don’t Defecate in the Open’ is being amplified in every rural household.

People everywhere are being inspired to divide and conquer waste by going “By Two”: segregate wet and dry waste.

The Swachhata Rathas are travelling to every village across 30 districts, with the films playing to spread awareness. Street theatre and folk performances on waste management, water and sanitation are being held regularly.

The Swachhameva Jayate Pledge can be heard resonating in every school, and anganwadi, and will soon make its radio debut. Today, lakhs of people across Karnataka are taking the pledge to keep their village clean, and make Karnataka a winner and a model in water, waste management and sanitation.

Persuasion through demonstration

Actions speak louder than words. As part of the roll-out of Swachhameva Jayate and Jalamrutha, we are creating a set of films with the Hon’ble Minister, RDPR. Taking a show and tell approach, the films have the Minister talking of the ways to segregate and manage waste, conserve water, plant trees et al. The films are being rolled out as episodes on the Swachhameva Jayate channel.

Jalamrutha: Water is nothing but Amrutha

Ensuring Swachhata is a key priority. But without water, how do you ensure swachhata.

Every drop of water is precious. With water levels depleting fast in Karnataka, the need of the hour is for the people to manage water more holistically. To understand that rural water, rain water, storm water, water for farming, urban water, waste water are all one. It connects every environment and living thing on the planet. People are not aware of the far-reaching consequences of continued misuse, abuse and disregard for water bodies.

To create a water secure future for Karnataka, as design partners to the Dept. of RDPR, we have launched Jalamrutha as a people’s participation movement towards water conservation across Karnataka.

Every movement starts from the people. Water practices are deeply ingrained in our daily rituals. We use and abuse water the same way, possibly because we do not realise its value.

Jalamrutha is designed as an inside out movement. Each one of us must take responsibility now, so that Karnataka has water forever, for everyone.

Jalamrutha will spread water literacy, conserve water, promote smart water usage and encourage green initiatives.

4 Pillars of Jalamrutha

Designed on 4 key pillars, Jalamrutha is spreading water literacy, conserve water, promote smart water usage and encourage green initiatives among the people from all sections.

2019 :: Karnataka’s Year of Water

2019 is being declared as the Year of Water to spearhead the Jalamrutha movement. The Year of Water activation will see the coming together of individuals, communities and institutions, including Gram Panchayats, Taluk Panchayats, Zilla Panchayats, schools, colleges, NGOs, Government departments, women, children, farmers, research institutions and other stakeholders as partners in this movement. This comprehensive, participatory and statewide mobilisation of people and resources, for the cause of water, will ensure that in Karnataka, there is water forever, for every one.

Using medium as the message
We are creating communication at specific water usage touchpoints, using the medium as the message to spread water awareness among the people from ground up.

Stoking Conversations around Water
Public + Private Partnership: Water Table

A communication strategy to spread awareness at all water points in urban and rural environments.

The water table is going down across urban and rural Karnataka. The State is facing a 69% decline in groundwater levels, which now, have receded to 9.3m, all time lowest in 5 years! When we are confronted by the problem, we know it.

Yet water is not a topic that is on top of our minds. Water culture across the state, at every level has to change. To ensure this, people’s participation in water is imperative. Can we consciously make water a ‘topic of conversation’.

We have created the strategy and designed a Water Table Challenge as an opportunity and a common platform for individuals, influencers, institutions and enterprises to actively engage with the Govt. and partner in water conservation. A Water Table kit has been designed to stoke conversations around water.

The Synthesis

Every movement starts with a thought and an idea…yet needs a face behind that idea.It is this face that becomes the beacon and spreads the movement from a small to a larger group of people. While the Govt is doing a lot to set the foundation of clean and sustainable sanitation, waste management and water practices, it’s time now to shift the onus to the people of Karnataka. People need to come forward and take responsibility as torchbearers of Swachhameva Jayate.

A key insight drawn from our research is the systems are as good as the people who use these systems. Swachhameva Jayate is an effort to make the people as good as the system.

The Path Ahead.

To achieve this, our strategy, design and communication will revolve around the Gems of Swachhata. A mass media campaign with digital and print communication and on ground action points will be created. Leveraging the medium as message, the toilets,waste collection buckets etc will be used to communicate the guidelines/instructions andhazards.

Short films are being created with the Hon’ble Minister, RDPR talking about the action points towards sanitation, waste management and water as simple yet inspiring instructions. In parallel, we will highlight the stories of the Gems of Swachhata who have come to the forefront during the research process.

To create a ripple effect, which can inspire more gems to come onboard, take up the baton of Swachhata and lead from the front as change makers and influencers. As an inside out movement, it will inspire more people from rural Karnataka to come onboard and expand the reach of the movement.

When the urge from change comes from within, people will do and people will win.

Swachhameva Jayate.

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