To highlight the impact of women in sanitation and waste management, the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri announced the ‘Women Icons Leading Swachhata’ (WINS) Awards 2023 on 7th March 2023, on the eve of International Women’s Day. 

The WINS Awards 2023 aim to recognize celebrate and disseminate inspiring and exemplary initiatives in urban sanitation and waste management by women led organizations and individual women.

The applications are open from 8th March to 5th April 2023.  Applications for the Awards are open to  (i) Self-Help Groups (SHGs) (ii) Micro-enterprises, (iii) Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), (iv) Startups and (v) Individual Women Leaders/Swachhata champions.

Applications will be considered under the thematic areas of (i) Management of Community/Public Toilets (ii) Septic Tanks Cleaning Services (iii) Treatment Facilities (Used Water/Septage) (iv) Municipal Water collection and /or Transportation (v) Operation of Material Recovery Facilities (vi) Waste to Wealth products (vii) Treatment Facilities (Solid Waste Management) (viii) IEC, Training, Capacity Building (ix) Technology and Intervention and (x) Others. 
The Application Form will be made available to all States.

The process to be followed will be:

States & Cities will publicize details of WINS Awards 2023 via their website, portals, and social media. Citizens are invited to apply. A suggested application format has been provided by MoHUA.

Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will evaluate entries & nominate up to 5 applicants to the State via the Swachhatam portal. ULBs can organize public felicitation of their nominees as city winners. ULB wise nominations will be evaluated at the State level. Up to 3 entries in each category will be nominated by the State to Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). State can organize public felicitation of nominees as State winners. State nominations will be evaluated at the national level on their innovativeness, impact, uniqueness, sustainability & replicability. 

At the national level, the MoHUA team will set up a Jury to evaluate the applications and select winners in each category. The Jury shall comprise of stakeholders from cities and States, independent experts, brand ambassadors, influencers and industry representatives. Winning entries will be featured in a compendium. 


It is now eight years since the flagship Mission of the Government of India-the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban was launched by the Prime Minister in October 2014. The Mission has enabled access to safe sanitation and dignity of women while also opening up livelihood and skilling opportunities to women in the area of sanitation and waste management. The country is now poised to make a transformational shift from ‘Women in Swachhata’ to ‘Women led Swachhata’.

must read