Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Making India Clean & More
September 23, 2014
by Rumani Saikia Phukan
Mahatma Gandhi had rightly said, “Sanitation is more important than Independence”. He was aware of the pathetic situation of Indian rural people at that time and he dreamt of a clean India where he emphasised on cleanliness and sanitation as an integral part of living. Unfortunately, after 67 years of independence, we have only about 30% of the rural households with access to toilets. President Pranab Mukherjee, in his address to Parliament in June 2014, said, “For ensuring hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the nation a “Swachh Bharat Mission” will be launched. This will be our tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary to be celebrated in the year 2019”.
First Cleanliness Drive Started on 25 September 2014
A cleanliness drive, just before the formal launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, was carried out from 25 September till 23 October by all offices up to panchayat level. As a part of the awareness campaign, the Delhi Government also covered more than eight lakh ration card holders by sending sms to their mobile numbers.
Swachh Bharat Launched on 2 October 2014
The Narendra Modi Government launched the “Swachh Bharat” movement to solve the sanitation problem and waste management in India by ensuring hygiene across the country. Emphasising on “Clean India” in his 2014 Independence day speech, PM Modi said that this movement is associated with the economic activity of the country. The prime objective of the mission is to create sanitation facilities for all. It aims to provide every rural family with a toilet by 2019.
Objectives of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The objectives of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan include the following
- Construct individual, cluster and community toilets.
- Eliminate or reduce open defecation. Open defecation is one of the main causes of deaths of thousands of children each year.
- Construct latrines and work towards establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring latrine use.
- Create Public awareness about the drawbacks of open defecation and promotion of latrine use.
- Recruit dedicated ground staff to bring about behavioural change and promotion of latrine use.
- Change people’s mindset towards proper sanitation use.
- Keep villages clean.
- Ensure solid and liquid waste management through gram panchayats.
- Lay water pipelines in all villages, ensuring water supply to all households by 2019.
What is Modi’s opinion?
Modi has directly linked the Clean India movement with the economic health of the nation. This mission, according to him, can contribute to GDP growth, provide a source of employment and reduce health costs, thereby connecting to an economic activity. Cleanliness is no doubt connected to the tourism and global interests of the country as a whole. It is time that India’s top 50 tourist destinations displayed highest standard of hygiene and cleanliness so as to change the global perception.
Clean India can bring in more tourists, thereby increasing the revenue. He has appealed to the people to devote 100 hours every year to cleanliness. Not only the sanitation programme, Modi also laid emphasis on solid waste management and waste water management. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation, said that solid and liquid waste management activities using scientifically proven advanced techniques will be launched in each gram panchayat. Narendra Modi has also directed that separate toilets for boys and girls should be provided in every school in the country by 15 August, 2015.
Modi’s Nominees for Promoting the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
On 2 October, 2014, Modi nominated nine celebrities from various fields to propagate the mission, considering the new age marketing via social media. The nominated personalities included, Anil Ambani, Mridula Sinha, Baba Ramdev, Kamal Hassan, Priyanka Chopra, Sachin Tendulkar, Salman Khan, Shashi Tharoor and the team of the TV series Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.
On 25 December, Modi nominated nine more people including the comedian Kapil Sharma, Sourav Ganguly, Kiran Bedi, Padmanabha Acharya, Nagaland Governor, Sonal Mansingh, Ramoji Rao of Eenadu group and Aroon Purie to take forward his “Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan”. Some organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, India Today, Eenadu and the popular “dabbewale” of Mumbai were also nominated to be the torchbearers.
This project is expected to cost over Rs. 2 lakhs crore. Fund sharing between the Central and State Governments and Urban Local Bodies is allocated in the ratio of 75:25. It has been officially stated that for North Eastern and special category states, the allocation of funds is in the ratio of 90:10. To give a boost to the project, the government has sought financial and technical support from the World Bank. Also, all big corporates and private organisations are asked to join the movement as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
Measures Proposed in 2015-16 Union Budget
Describing Clean India campaign as a “programme for preventive healthcare, and building awareness”, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed that the donations made to the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Clean Ganga Fund will be eligible for tax deductions under the Income Tax Act. The budget also proposed Swachh Bharat cess on select services at the rate of up to 2 per cent. The resources generated from this cess will be leveraged for funding initiatives towards the campaign.
Construction of 31.83 lakhs Toilets till January 2015
According to government data, in January 2015, 7.1 lakh individual household toilets have been built under this dream project. This number is considered the highest for any month since its launch in October 2014. 31.83 lakhs individual toilets have been built until January 2015. So far, Karnataka is the best performer by achieving 61% of the target while Punjab is the worst performer by achieving 5% of the target.
The Pledge for All
PM Narendra Modi has urged each and every one of us to pledge the following as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:
“I will remain committed towards cleanliness and devote time for this. I will devote 100 hours per year, that is two hours per week, to voluntarily work for cleanliness. I will neither litter not let others litter. I will initiate the quest for cleanliness with myself, my family, my locality, my village and my work place”.
Let’s Make Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a Success
The PM has rightly asserted that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should be a combined effort of both the Government as well as the people. We hope that the Swachh Bharat Mission does not become another Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan started by the previous Government in 1999 with the same mission but was far from a success.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should not be a mere re-branding exercise. There is no doubt about the fact that change begins at home. Every citizen of the country should take it upon himself to make this campaign a success rather than waiting for the government to do. Let us also hope that we can change the attitude of the people towards hygiene and be the change we want to see.
- The report for the cleanest cities has been released by the government. The survey conducted in the 476 cities shows Mysore to be the cleanest city in India West Bengal has made a strong place in the list as 25 cities from the state made it to the list of top 100. For More Details you can refer the following link.(http://www.mapsofindia.com/government-of-india/swachh-bharat-abhiyan.html)
- Swachh Bharat mission head Vijaylakshmi Joshi had resigned from her post in September 2015. Her resignation came even before the Swachh Bharat mission has completed a year.
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“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi. On 2nd October 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement.
While leading the mass movement for cleanliness, the Prime Minister exhorted people to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and hygienic India. Shri Narendra Modi himself initiated the cleanliness drive at Mandir Marg Police Station. Picking up the broom to clean the dirt, making Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a mass movement across the nation, the Prime Minister said people should neither litter, nor let others litter. He gave the mantra of ‘Na gandagi karenge, Na karne denge.’ Shri Narendra Modi also invited nine people to join the cleanliness drive and requested each of them to draw nine more into the initiative.
By inviting people to participate in the drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan has turned into a National Movement. A sense of responsibility has been evoked among the people through the Clean India Movement. With citizens now becoming active participants in cleanliness activities across the nation, the dream of a ‘Clean India’ once seen by Mahatma Gandhi has begun to get a shape.
The Prime Minister has helped spread the message of Swachh Bharat by urging people through his words & action. He carried out a cleanliness drive in Varanasi as well. He wielded a spade near River Ganga at Assi Ghat in Varanasi under the Clean India Mission. He was joined by a large group of local people who cooperated in the Swachhta Abhiyan. Understanding the significance of sanitation, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has simultaneously addressed the health problems that Indians families have to deal with due to lack of proper toilets in their homes.
People from different sections of the society have come forward and joined this mass movement of cleanliness. From government officials to jawans, bollywood actors to the sportspersons, industrialists to spiritual leaders, all have lined up for the noble work. Millions of people across the country have been day after day joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments, NGOs and local community centres to make India clean. Organising frequent cleanliness campaigns to spreading awareness about hygiene through plays and music is also being widely carried out across the nation.
Bollywood celebrities to television actors came forward and actively joined the initiative. Noted personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Kailash Kher, Priyanka Chopra and entire cast and crew of SAB TV show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ lend a hand to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Numerous sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom’s contribution the clean India drive have been commendable.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’, has time and again lauded the efforts of individuals and various organizations across the country that have helped make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a huge success. The Prime Minister complemented a team of Government officials of Madhya Pradesh’s Harda district for their role towards a cleaner India. PM also praised five students of New Horizon School in Bangalore who developed a mobile based application for buying and selling waste.
Organisations like ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, XLRI Jamshedpur and IIM-Bangalore initiated mass cleanliness drives and spread awareness among the general public.
Shri Narendra Modi has always openly lauded the participation of people via social media. Shri Narendra Modi appreciated the efforts of Temsutula Imsong, Darshika Shah and a group of volunteers for their ‘Mission Prabhughat’ initiative in Varanasi.
The ‘#MyCleanIndia’ was also launched simultaneously as a part of the Swachh Bharat drive to highlight the cleanliness work carried out by citizens across the nation.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a ‘Jan Andolan’ receiving tremendous support from the people. Citizens too have turned out in large numbers and pledged for a neat and cleaner India. Taking the broom to sweep the streets, cleaning up the garbage, focussing on sanitation and maintaining a hygienic environment have become a practice after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. People have started to take part and are helping spread the message of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’
Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas is focused on building individual toilets, community toilets and solid waste management. In rural areas, the emphasis is on behavioural change intervention including interpersonal communication, strengthening implementation and delivery mechanisms down to the Gram Panchayat level, and giving States flexibility to design delivery mechanisms that take into account local cultures, practices, sensibilities and demands. The incentive for building toilet has been increased by Rs 2000 from Rs 10000 to Rs 12000. Funds are also provided for Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) in Gram Panchayats.