Neha Sharma

Sanitation Changemaker

A Beacon of Women and Community Led Sanitation

Neha Sharma is an enigmatic force in the vast landscape of public service in India. An IAS Officer from the batch of 2010, she currently serves as the Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and the Director of Urban Local Bodies & Municipal Administration in the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

During her 12 years in public service, Neha has served as the District Magistrate in various districts of UP, these diverse experiences have shaped her understanding of the challenges faced by different regions. While working as the Additional CO at Noida Authority, she delved into intricacies of urban sanitation and municipal issues. Her determination and commitment to improving the living conditions of the people led her to her current posting in Uttar Pradesh.

Neha's educational background played a significant role in shaping her aspirations. She spent her formative years in Scindia Boarding School in Gwalior, where she developed a strong academic foundation. After completing her schooling, she pursued her higher studies at Delhi University, specializing in Gender and Space.

Her motivation to join public service stemmed from her childhood dream, which was nurtured by her father's constant encouragement to explore civil services. Although she lacked immediate examples or mentors, Neha found inspiration in observing a woman District Collector in her hometown. Witnessing her dedication and impact left a lasting impression on Neha's young mind, setting the tone for her future endeavors.

Neha's deep-rooted passion for academia, combined with her desire to implement change systematically, fueled her drive to address societal issues. She envisioned leveraging her position to initiate initiatives aligned with her research interests and promote gender equality.

During her tenure, Neha faced multiple challenges, ranging from law and order to development-related issues. Her unwavering focus, however, has remained on women-centric concerns. In Ferozabad, she spearheaded work under the Beti Bachao scheme, emphasizing the importance of empowering and protecting girls.

Neha's dedication to women-led sanitation came naturally to her, and she strived to make a lasting impact. One of the initiatives closest to her heart involved the removal of 3000+ garbage vulnerable points across urban local bodies in UP within 75 hours, through community-led sanitation efforts, which involved the active participation of women, NGOs, and CSOs, and support from Safai Mitras. Round-the-clock monitoring ensured the success of this initiative. Furthermore, Neha worked to introduce innovative assets such as "Neki ki Deewar" (a wall for donations), selfie points, and vending zones, at those points. Neha envisions a cleaner India as her long-term goal, driven ahead by a true people’s movement.