As Swachh Bharat
campaign picks up further momentum during the ongoing fortnight long
sanitation drive, thrust on the cleanliness and hygiene is increasing at
a rapid pace not only on the government’s action plans, but awareness
has spread manifold during last three years among people including those
living in backward rural swathes.
Amid continuous downpour of success stories of the ambitious plan,
launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Gandhi Jayanti day
in 2014, the word Swachchta has substantially gained currency with
increasing demands and awareness for clean toilets and safe drinking
The Campaign, which had made an innocuous beginning, has resulted into
construction of large number of toilets, clean potable water
arrangements, regular drills of cleaning etc. Apart from bulging
statistics of new toilets, involvement of the government machinery,
institutions, social organizations, common people etc.is an indicator of
the campaign’s growing efficacy. A UNICEF report says good sanitation
can save Rs.50,000 per year per family.
During the pan India operations for constructing toilets, a number of
glaring successful reports poured in and complaints, where those
involved in effecting plans, erred are being looked into for redressal
To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and
put focus on sanitation, Prime Minister Modi had lunched Sawachch Bharat
Mission which has two sub missions SBM (Gramin) and SBM (Urban).The
mission aims to accomplish Clean India by 2019 as a fitting tribute to
Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.
According to officials, sanitation coverage in the country has gone up
from 39% at the launch of the SBM to 67.5 % today with 2.38 lakh
villages having been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), and that this
progress had been verified by third-party independent agencies as well.
To give fillip to individual’s innovative ideas to deal with sanitation
related problems, Swachhathon was organized recently for new ideas crowd
sourcing. Informatively, the logo of Swachh Bharat Mission itself was a
Now, to boost clean India programme and turn it into an effective public
movement, a fortnight long sanitary campaign –“ Swachhta Hi Sewa” which
includes voluntary participation,“Sharamdan ”(free Labour) by law makers
and others, got underway this week ,and no less than the President
Ramnath Kovind himself flagged off the campaign from Kanpur Dehat- his
home town. The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is set to lead the campaign
The fortnight ends on the Gandhi‘s Birth anniversary day. A large number
of Union Ministers, MPs and MLAs are also scheduled to offer ‘Shramdaan’.
The Prime Minister’s Birth day on September 17 brings thrust to the
initiative by marking the day as “Seva Diwas”. Drivers of the Swachchta
mission say a slew of such programmes bring the issue to a sharp focus
and finally leads to more participation of common man.
Policy makers are of opinion the strong message for Swachch campaign
gains momentum with such high profile participation of law makers,
celebrities, and brand ambassadors. To ensure massive outreach, the
government machinery is toiling to spread the message through all means
including telecasting of Bollywood’s – Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, film by
the national broadcaster on Seva Diwas.
“Swachhta Hi Seva”drive will see large scale mobilisation of people from
all walks of life to undertake ‘Shramdaan’ for cleanliness and
construction of toilets and to make their environments free from open
defecation.There will be targeted cleaning of public and tourist places.
The drive is being coordinated by the Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation, the convening Ministry for the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Every occasion is being utilised to highlight and poularise the
programme. Like the birth anniversary of the ruling party ideologue and
social reformer Dr. Deen Dayal Upadhaya on September 25th will be
observed as "Sarvatra swachchata" with massive cleaning of public
utility places like parks, bus stops, railway stations etc.
On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti the tourism sites will be brought under the
focus for cleaning. Informatively, the tourism sector, as per an
estimate, loses about Rs.500 crore every year due to lack of sanitation.
World Bank report estimates that lack of sanitation costs India over six
per cent of the country’s GDP.
The government has identified a large number of such sites for
sanitation during the ongoing drive. Each ministry has been asked to
gear up the operation. Defence ministry will ensure that all cantonments
could be declared as open defecation free places besides embarking on
cleanliness drives at high altitudes. The information and Broadcasting
ministry is playing role of popularising the sanitation programmes on
private news channels, FM radio waves besides producing short films on
According to latest figures, the SBM has clocked many targets. These
include construction of 29,79,945 household toilets across the country,
while 44,650 wards have been covered for 100 per cent door - to - door
As per the ‘dashboard’ (real time figures) of the Swachh Bharat (urban)
portal, as many as 2,19,169 community and public toilets were
constructed and waste to energy production stands at 94.2 megawatt
currently. Total, 1,286 cities have self-declared as ODF (Open
According to SBM (Gramin) dashboard reports, 4,80,80,707 household
toilets were constructed since October 2, 2014 and as many as 2,38,539
villages have achieved target of open defecation free ( ODF) title.The
site says 196 districts turned into open defecation free .Elimination of
Open Defecation is crucial aspect of SBM. In order to achieve the
objective of becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019, 55 million
household toilets and 115,000 community toilets need to be constructed
under the SBM (Gramin), as per the NITI Ayog document. Sikkim, Himachal
Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Uttrakhand are ODF states. Ten states will
be ODF by March, 2018. All 4500 Namami Gangae Villages are ODF now.
The Swachch Bharat campaign encompasses a large number of programmes
which covered ranking of educational institutions, cities on sanitation
index but real success of the ambitious plan lies with common public who
have to be more sensitive to social and personal hygiene. Let us hope
that entire country will be free from open defecation by 2019.