New Delhi: A group of ministers (GoM) led by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot has recommended the creation of a “department of hygiene” in the wake of the Covid pandemic, ThePrint has learnt.
According to a senior government official, who didn’t want to be named, the GoM has recommended that the department of hygiene should be established in all organisations, workplaces, municipal corporations, etc.
“Health sector may be given special focus in view of renewed emphasis in the Covid times, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare can come out with certain guidelines and codes regarding hygiene practices,” read the recommendation report, accessed by ThePrint, which has been sent to the PMO for approval earlier this month.
Another senior government official told ThePrint it could be an extension of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in which initially the focus was on creating infrastructure such as toilets, but now it could be used to cover personal and social hygiene too.
Can provide employment too
The GoM further pointed out the creation of a department of hygiene can also provide huge employment opportunities by “establishing an entire infrastructure right till the villages to ensure hygiene maintenance mainly in the backdrop of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
“The workers who have lost jobs in the post-Covid times can be retrained and can be engaged as hygiene workers across the country,” according to the recommendation report.
The second official mentioned above told ThePrint a certification system for hygiene levels will be introduced on the lines of ISO certification, and all enterprises will be mandated to get this certification over a three-year period.
The GoM further stated several sectors have been badly hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the lockdown has disrupted supply chains and production.
“Lockdown has changed the entire dynamic of job creation and economic revival. As the nation is gradually opening all the sectors, the effects of lockdown will become apparent in the coming weeks,” it said.
The report stated sectors that have greater job potential during the post-Covid period such as healthcare, food-processing and agri-business chains, insurance, e-commerce, retail delivery, pharmaceuticals, among others, should be incentivised.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.