Swachh Bharat Mission Achievements and milestones

Prof. P. L. Kaul

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission is the culmination of all the experiences Modiji had, before he became Prime minister of India. It is not a scheme thought over night but his dreams, since his RSS Pracharak days. Modiji in conversation with two authors, Assa Doron,and Robbin Jaffery who were researching on waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India said , two experiences in his home state of Gujarat motivated/influenced his attitude towards social change and cleanliness and sanitation.
One was massive floods of Morbi in 1979, killing thousands of people and another was panic over suspected bubonic plague in Surat in 1994. A huge cleaning up operation was undertaken and Modiji was a part of this drive. Town was restored to its normal state and an epidemic was averted. As Chief Minister of Gujarat , Modi Ji said if change could happen in Surat and other places ,it is possible elsewhere , so he focussed on improving the hygiene and sanitation practices in urban and as well as rural areas. Habit of open defecation (OD) has been a centuries old habit. So implementation of SBM was a challenging task, because, there was no demand for toilets.
Demand for toilets had to be stimulated or generated to wean people away from the habit of open defecation and therefore a massive behavioural change campaigns had to be designed to make a successful movement. Before, 2014, sanitation coverage in India was as low as 39% in rural areas. This affected health and dignity of the people, especially of women and children. In the past before, 2014 sanitation facilities did exist, but it lacked, 1) strong political will, 2) leadership and 3) behavioural change approach and ultimately it failed to pick up. Modi ji said it is a matter of National shame that India had the highest number of people defecating in the open at that time.
About 55 crore people in villages were devoid of toilets. He realised the social and health problems of women and children and knew that one of the reasons for girls dropping out from schools was lack of toilet facilities. Dignity of women was his priority. Therefore as Prime minister of India, Modi ji in his very first speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August, 2014, announced to launch Swachh Bharat mission to make India free of open defecation from 2nd October, 2014 and called upon the country men to join him in this mass movement and he himself led the movement from the front.
The past 8 years has witnessed a historical journey for India along the path of Swachhta wherein the maximum number of toilets and public sanitation complexes were constructed under the governance of Prime Minister Modiji. Swachh Bharat Mission is one of the break through missions in the Indian scenario, emerged from the vision of our Prime Minister Modiji. The mission has become success story not only in our country, but in the whole World and everyone is talking about this movement, says Prime Minister Modi Ji in his monthly radio talk ‘Mann Ki Bat’. Cleanliness /sanitation is a right which any citizen needs to exercise and SBM is all set to give this right back to citizen. Gandhi ji said, so long as you do not take the broom and bucket in your hands, you cannot make your city /town clean.
Swachh Bharat mission is claimed to be the World’s largest behaviour change campaign ever attempted in the sector of sanitation. The mission has two components, SBM rural (Gramin)and SBM(Urban) implemented by Ministry of drinking water and sanitation (MDWS) and Ministry of housing and urban affairs (MHUA) respectively. SBM (G)Phase 1 was launched on 2nd oct, 2014 for five years (2014to 2019) and it aims to provide sanitation facilities including toilets to every rural family and to improve and promote solid waste management, creating awareness and bringing about behavioural changes in people towards adopting healthy and sanitation practices and providing safe drinking water.
Incentives up to Rs 12000/ for construction of individual house hold toilets (IHHT) meant for BPL/Sc/ST/small and marginal farmers /landless labourers /physically handicapped with centre’s share being 75% and of state’s share being 25% and for north eastern state including J&K state, centre state share is 90%:10% .
The impact of success of SBM on development, health and sanitation sector has yielded good results, which is evident from reports, surveys conducted by WHO, UNICEF and concerned ministries. Unsafe sanitation was responsible for almost 200 million cases of diarrhoea every year before, the launch of SBM in 2014. These have steadily decreased over the years with universal use of safe sanitation. In the last 5 years, (2014-2019), SBM has reached its target of eliminating open defecation and has improved the coverage of toilets in rural India from 39% in 2014 to 100% in 2019-20. SBM has changed the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilets access and usage.
Swachh Bharat Mission (G) phase 11:—–Having achieved the Mile Stone of an ODF India, in a time bound manner in the last five years from 2014 to 2019, the work on sanitation and behaviour change campaign has to continue to sustain the gains of the first phase and to ensure none is left out and to provide adequate facilities for solid, liquid and plastic waste management (SLWM) in rural India. The phase 11 programme is implemented from 2020 -2025, with a total outlay of RS 1, 40881 crores. SLWM will have 4key areas 1) Plastic waste management 2), Biodegradable solid waste management,(including animal waste management)3), Grey water treatment (house hold waste),4) Faecal sludge management.
SBM U -2 Phase 11 is the continuation of SBM -U first phases to be implemented from 2021 2025 and the purpose is to make all cities “Garbage Free” and water secure other than those covered under AMRUT. The outlay is around RS 1.41 lakh crore making all urban local bodies as ODF+ and those with a population of less than 1 lakh as ODF++, there by achieving vision of safe sanitation. The mission will focus on source segregation of solid waste, utilising principles of 3 R (reduce, reuse and recycle), reduction in single use plastic, bioremediation of dumpsites, waste water treatment. Prime Minister said that today India is processing about one lakh tonnes of waste every day and back in 2014, when SBM was started, less than 20 percent of the waste generated in the country every day was processed. However, today 70% of daily waste is processed. We have to take it to 100%.
Lauding India’s programme towards becoming ODF country, a mile stone achievement, Prime Minister has said, that had programme like SBM been launched 70 years before, India would have become a disease free country by now. Moving towards an ODF status is the country’s biggest achievement in the health sector. ODF India means healthier India. As per the survey of UNICEF, on an average every house hold in an ODF village saved about RS 50,000 annually, mainly from savings on account of access to toilet and practising safe sanitation and hygienic measures and the value of time saved due to a close toilet. Number of people defecating in open dropped from 550 million to around 150 million within 4 years of campaign.
Detol School hygiene programme in some states have reported 54% increase in the practice of hand washing and reduced diarrhoeal cases by 14%.Number of schools with separate toilets for Girls rose from 31%to 91% and also reduction in school dropout of female students. .Many ODF villages have seen a reduction in the number of deaths due to diseases like diarrhoea, malaria and improvement in child health and nutrition. The greatest relief to the women folk as a result of sanitation coverage is reduction in incidence of sexual assault against them, besides improved environment, reduced water pollution, increase in property value in having a toilet and personal dignity. Social benefits included physical safety, privacy, comfort, and status. Other additional rewarding benefits in the long run would be>—-1), Boosting Tourism -Many tourists visit India every year due to its rich culture and history , but in the past they have faced many problems due to unhygienic conditions prevailing related to lack of toilets and OD which has caused a huge slack in industry. With the Clean India Mission initiated by our Prime Minister, there is increase in tourist influx resulting in increase in country’s GDP and also generated huge employment. 2) Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI. ) FDI from foreign firms is an essential source to grow economically and raise employment.
SBM will assist in increasing FDI in India, to speed up development. Going by example of Singapore which undertook similar cleanliness drive from 1977 to 1987, it helped Singapore to attract more FDI and transformed it from developing nation to developed country. We are sure that SBM will do similar wonders for India. 3) Technology up Gradation -Cost effective innovative technology for safe and sustainable sanitation is being created to achieve the targets. 4) Improves Productivity—A healthy society and development of country is interrelated. The health of individual influences the productivity in the work place. When the work force is healthy, a healthy person can work most efficiently, thereby contributing to the GDP of the Nation.
Recognising Prime Minister Modijis’commitment towards cleaner and greener world including pledge to eliminate single use plastic in India, United Nations has bestowed him with “Champions of the Earth Award” 2018,considered to be the highest Environmental Honour. Prime Minister Narendra Modiji also received the 2019 ” Goal Keeper Award” for Swachh Bharat Mission from Bill and MelGates Foundation in New York, who said that the SBM can serve as a Model for other countries around the World. The Prime Minister dedicated this award to 130 crore Indians for transforming SBM into a mass movement. Entire Nation is proud for this Global recognition and achievement.
(The author is Sr BJP leader, State In charge SBA, UT, J&K.)