In line with the theme for International Day of Zero Waste 2023 - ‘Achieving sustainable and environmentally sound practices of minimizing and managing waste’, 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is organizing Swachhotsav- International Day of Zero Waste: Rally for Garbage Free Cities in New Delhi. In the presence of Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Mr. Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Co-ordinator, over 350 delegates i.e., Mayors, Commissioners, Mission Directors, Business & Tech experts, women & youth leading sanitation, technical institutions, development partners, etc. are expected to attend this event.

The Swachh Mashaal March will set the tone for the ‘Women-led Swachhotsav’, where citizens will rally for Garbage-Free Cities on 29, 30, 31st March, 2023. This will be followed by cleanliness drives at public places, open plots, water bodies, railway tracks, and public toilets in every ward of participating Urban Local Bodies (ULB). Over 2000 cities have already joined hands for the Mashaal march


Swachhotsav - International Day of Zero Waste: Rally for Garbage Free Cities will see discussions and best practices presentations on Circularity in Garbage Free Cities, Women and Youth for GFC, Business and Tech for GFC and Fireside chat with Mayors. The event will be organized by MoHUA in collaboration with GIZ, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, UNEP.

To focus on sanitation coverage and initiatives, the Prime Minister launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014 as the world’s largest behavioural change programme in sanitation. The movement was bolstered with the vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ aiming at scientific solid waste management by the SBM- Urban 2.0 launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 1 October 2021. The concept of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) was introduced by PM at COP26 in Glasgow on 1st November, 2021, in line with UNEP’s Sustainable Development Goals. He called upon the global community of individuals and institutions to drive LiFE as an international mass movement towards “mindful and deliberate utilisation, instead of mindless and destructive consumption” to protect and preserve the environment.

Shri Hardeep S. Puri launched Swachhotsav, a 3-week women-led Swachhata campaign from March 08, 2023. The campaign aimed to recognize and celebrate the transition from women in sanitation to women-led sanitation. A series of events and activities were organized across cities to celebrate women from all walks of life, who provide leadership in making the mission of GFC a success. The 3-week campaign will culminate in a Swachhotsav event on 29th March 2023, as a run-up to the International Day of Zero Waste on 30th March 2023.


Under the campaign, the first edition of Women Icons leading Swachhata (WINS) Awards 2023 was announced to recognize high-impact women entrepreneurs or women-led enterprises working for urban swachhata. A unique peer learning initiative, Swachhata Yatra has been rolled out wherein SHG members engaged as waste entrepreneurs are getting the exciting opportunity of inter-state travel. Acting as Swachhata Doots, many of these women are first-time travelers and this enriching experience is offering them a platform to see, interact and learn.

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