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According to a survey in 2011, over 26 million people in India defecated in the open. Around 60 percent of Indians did not have access to safe and private toilets. Such overwhelming majority of those without access to sanitation facilities posed a formidable obstacle in the development of the nation.
In this backdrop, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission to address the challenges of water, sanitation, and hygiene on October 2nd, 2014 at Rajghat in New Delhi. This flagship programme of the Union government aims to realize the dream of a Clean India by October 02, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
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Swachh Bharat Mission Articles
Article on Swachh Bharat Mission 1 (300 words)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) on October 2nd, 2014, the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The ambitious programme aims to make the streets, roads and infrastructure across the country clean by October 02nd, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. It is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive.
The relevance of the Swachh Bharat Mission
Sanitation has emerged as a key issue since the 2011 Census highlighted the glaring data on lack of toilets in the country by stating that over 26 million people in India defecate in the open. Launched with an estimated cost of around Rs 62,000 crore, Swachh Bharat Mission aims to achieve the elimination of open defecation in the country. Among its other objectives are conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, putting an end to the inhuman practice of manual scavenging and carrying out Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM).
Involvement of Eminent Personalities
Launching the mission, Prime Minster nominated nine famous personalities for the campaign. They joined the campaign and nominated nine more people. Thus, the momentum had been built with people from all walks of life joining it. Eminent personalities such as Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kailash Kher, Priyanka Chopra and leading sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom were part of the SBM initiative.
How far we have come
As per the government data, till November 2018, around 25 states and more than 5 lakhs villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 96.55% rural household have now access to toilets. There have been around 89 million toilets built since 02nd October, 2014 and the work is still in progress.
Though the government is putting forward its best efforts, but what matters the most is the behavioural change of its citizen which is very important to keep our country clean. There is a need of an attitudinal change on the part of all citizens to fulfill the mission of a clean India in its true spirit.
Article on Swachh Bharat Mission 2 (500 words)
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 02nd, 2014 with an estimated cost of around Rs 62,000 crore, Swachh Bharat Mission aims to cover 1.04 crore households, provide 2.5 lakhs seats of community toilets, 2.6 lakhs seats of public toilets and solid waste management facility for all towns.
How it is being managed
The urban component of the mission is being managed by the Union Ministry of Urban Development. Around three million government employees and school and college students of India participated in the event in its initial phase. The rural component of the mission is being handled by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
The Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)
In 1999, the Union Government rolled out the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC). Its objective was to spread awareness among the rural people and generation of demand for sanitary facilities. The scheme was implemented with emphasis on community-led initiatives. The government provided financial incentives to the families which were Below Poverty Line (BPL). The government assistance was also extended for construction of toilets in the primary schools, the ‘Anganwadi’ Centres and the Community Sanitary Complexes (CSC).
The Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA)
The Government of India also launched the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) to recognise contributions in this field. NGP became a success which prompted the Government to rename CSC as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). Its objective was to accelerate the sanitation coverage in the rural areas. This scheme was handled by the Ministry of Rural Development.
Under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, the government adopted the community-centric strategies. The demand driven approach continued highlighting awareness creation and demand generation for sanitary facilities in houses, schools. It also emphasised on a cleaner environment.
Emergence of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
However, programmes like the Total Sanitation Campaign and the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan failed to achieve the desired targets due to planning weaknesses, wastages, and irregularities. According to the CAG estimation, more than 30 percent of individual household latrines were defunct/non-functional for reasons like poor quality of construction, incomplete structure, and no-maintenance.
It states that though the conceptual framework keeps changing from supply driven to demand driven and finally to ‘saturation and convergence’ approach, the lessons learned and experimentations do not seem to have made much impact on the sanitation status in the country. We need to learn from the previous mistakes.
With the introduction of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, the Government restructured the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) with two sub-Missions: Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). The focus now is to achieve a clean, defecation-free India by the year 2019.
It would be a befitting tribute to the Father of Nation on his 150th Birth Anniversary, if we can improve the levels of cleanliness in the country and make it Open Defecation Free. But the success of Swachh Bharat Mission depends on the society as a whole with every citizen of the country required to contribute towards improving the levels of cleanliness in the country.
Article on Swachh Bharat Mission 3 (600 words)
As per estimates, poor hygiene and sanitation facilities cost India 600,000 lives annually due to diarrhea and other such diseases. As per government data of 2011, India is home to 450 million people who do not have access to toilets and they defecate in the open. Not only this, lack of toilets also exposes one third of country’s women to the risk of sexual assault.
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission was launched by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2014, at Rajghat in New Delhi. This national campaign, initiated by the Government of India, covers 4041 statutory towns across the country and aims to make the streets, roads and infrastructure clean by October 2, 2019, i.e. Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
How it is being Managed
This mission to clean India’s cities and villages is estimated to cost around Rs. 62,000 crore. It’s the most celebrated scheme of the recent time which aims to combat dirtiness and generate awareness among the citizens of India about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Millions of people, celebrities, politicians, academic institutions, NGOs, and local community centres across the country joined this cleanliness initiative of the government by organizing cleanliness drives across the country. From Bollywood actors to the sportsperson, government officials to Armymen, industrialists to spiritual leaders, all are willingly contributing towards making India clean.
The Union Ministry of Urban Development is managing the urban component of the SBM, while the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is handling the rural component of the mission. Students of schools are also organizing frequent cleanliness campaigns to spread awareness about hygiene through plays and other modes.
The Government of India launched the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) with effect from April 1, 1999. To provide a major fillip to the TSC, the government launched an incentive scheme in June 2003 in the form of an award for comprehensive sanitation coverage, preservation and protection of environment and open defecation-free panchayat villages, blocks, and districts namely Nirmal Gram Puraskar. The TSC was further renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). On October 2, 2014, the campaign was renamed and launched as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Mission (SBM) to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi`s vision of ‘Clean India’.
The Main Objectives of the SBM:
The mission aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019. Prime Minister while launching the SBM, called for making the goal of Swachh Bharat as a mass movement, with people taking a pledge to neither litter, nor let others litter.
Citing a World Health Organization estimate that an average of Rs. 6500 per person was lost in India due to lack of cleanliness and hygiene, the Prime Minister emphasized that a clean India would make a significant impact on public health. It would safeguard income of the poor, ultimately contributing to the national economy. He underlined that sanitation should not be seen as a political tool, but as manifestation of patriotism and contribution towards nation-building.
The mission aims to eliminate open defecation by constructing toilets for households, communities; abolishing manual scavenging; ushering in advanced municipal solid waste management practices; encouraging private sector involvement in the sanitation sector and last but not the least by bringing about attitudinal change with regard to sanitation.
Though the government has greatly publicized this mission, yet there is a lack of adequate awareness about making India clean, which is a major cause of concern. If each and every person starts making efforts for keeping their surroundings clean, we would definitely see the positive results soon.
Article on Swachh Bharat Mission 4 (800)
India has registered a sustained economic growth in the last few years. But it still faces a huge economic loss due to poor hygiene and sanitation. A recent World Bank report has highlighted that India loses 6.4% of GDP annually because of this particular reason. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India aims at ‘total sanitation’ by 2019. It means every household in India will have a toilet by the end of the year 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission
Objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission are – elimination of open defecation, conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, 10% collection and scientific processing/disposal, reuse/recycle of municipal solid waste, to bring about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices. The programme aims to generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its association with health. It also calls for strengthening of urban local bodies to design, implement and operate systems to create conducive environment for private sector participation.
Menace of the Open Defecation
One of the major causes of lack of cleanliness in the country is open defecation. It refers to a practice whereby people go out in fields or other open spaces rather than using the toilets to defecate. This practice is quite rampant in India. A UN report also said that India was home to the world’s largest population of people who defecate in the open and around 65,000 tonnes of excreta was added into the environment each day.
The Open Defecation Free (ODF)
To become Open Defecation Free (ODF) is an uphill task for a country like ours. The age-old practices and a lack of awareness among people are posing severe challenges to health. However after the launch of Swachh Bharat Campaign, 25 states have been declared as Open Defecation Free till November 2018. Sikkim was the first Indian state which was declared ODF state under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
In October 2016, Himachal Pradesh was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) state under the SBM. After Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh got this status to have toilet for every individual household. As on November 2018, there were 89 million toilets built since 02nd October 2014 and more than 5 lakhs villages were declared Open Defecation Free. There is still a long way to go for the completion of this campaign and most important thing will be the behavioural change which is very important for the successful completion of this mission.
Funding of the Swachh Bharat Mission
This mission is one of the leading centrally-sponsored schemes for which cooperation of all the states is quite important. The SBM receives fundsthrough budgetary allocations, contributions to the Swachh Bharat Kosh and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It also receives funding assistance from the international organisation like the World Bank. The Government of India introduced Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC) in 2015 which is used for financing and promoting the Swachh Bharat initiatives.
It is applicable on all taxable services. It is levied, charged, collected and paid to the Government of India, independent of service tax. It is charged as a separate line item in the invoice. SBC has been introduced for financing and promoting Swachh Bharat initiatives and became effective since 15 November 2015 at the rate of 0.5% on all taxable services. SBC is collected in the Consolidated Fund of India.
The Union Government had announced Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) in 2014. Its Governing Council is chaired by Secretary, the Department of Expenditure, and Ministry of Finance. Secretaries from several ministries are part of it. Its instruction is to procure Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from the corporate sector and philanthropists. It accepts contributions from individuals also. The Kosh is used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas.
Though people have started to pitch in to help spread the message of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’, we still have miles to go. The government needs to work on the entire sanitation value chain including water supply, safe disposal and treatment of waste, and maintenance of infrastructure. The construction of toilets as well as awareness campaigns needs the backing of the state for regular monitoring of the toilet use. Not only this, there is a need to engage the community also to address the age-old practices in the rural areas.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has started showing its results in the current times where 25 states have been already declared Open Defecation Free and efforts are already in progress to make other state join the club of ODF. At this juncture, every countryman should take a pledge that he/she will contribute towards making India clean in the true sense of the term and then only we can pay tribute in real sense to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.