The Gist of Kurukshetra: November 2016
- Swachh Bharat Mission: From Behaviour Chance to Social Change
- Rural Communities Embrace Swachh Bharate Mission (GRAMIN)
(Only For The Subscribed Members)
Swachh Bharat Mission: From Behaviour Chance to Social Change
The practice of open defecation poses serious health risks,
which have a cascading effect on economic well-being of a family. That nearly 50
per cent of the rural population of India continues with this traditional
practice has certainly been a cause for disquiet more so from the view point of
To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation
coverage and enhance focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister launched the Swachh
Bharat Mission (SBM) on October 2, 2014. "A clean India would be the best
tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in
2019," he said.
The main objectives of the SBM(G) are: to bring about an
improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas by promoting
cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation; to accelerate sanitation
coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh
Bharat by October 2,2019 to motivate communities and
Panchayati Raj Institutions to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and
facilities through awareness creation and health education; to encourage cost
effective and appropriate technologies .for ecologically safe and sustainable
sanitation; and to develop wherever required, community managed sanitation
systems focusing on scientific solid and liquid waste management systems for
overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
Towards this, MDWS has put in place detailed guidelines,
outlining a strategy, steps for implementation and activities that states can
engage in to achieve ODF status for all villages. Sanitation being a State
subject, the focus of the strategy is to move towards a 'Swachh Bharat' by
providing flexibility to State governments to decide their implementation policy
and mechanisms, taking into account State-specific requirements.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has also
pitched in, encouraging companies to contribute to Swachh Vidyalaya Swachh
Bharat, an initiative that aims to provide functional toilets for elementary and
secondary schools across the country.
To facilitate channelisation of philanthropic contributions
from religious leaders and CSR funds from institutions towards this cause, the
PM has also launched a fund - Swachh Bharat Kosh. Further he has evinced keen
interest, prodding the implementing teams into taking action and delivering
results while sharing success stories on Mann Ki Baat, a monthly radio programme.
In addition, celebrities, the corporate sector, teachers, students and the media
have been called upon to advocate the need for access to safe sanitation for
It's been two years since the launch and there has been
significant activity across the country. To begin with, there has been a
substantial decline in the number of people defecating in the open with over 20
districts and more than 80,000 villages becoming ODF. Along the Ganges, as many
as 1,523 villages have been made ODF. Till date more than 23.5 million household
toilets have been built. Behavior Change Campaigns have been launched to ensure
usage of the toilets already constructed.
Among other activities at the Centre, M DWS has initiated 'Swachhta
Pakhwada' (cleaning fortnight) under which all Ministries follow a fixed
calendar to clean up their offices and areas that come under their purview.
Various activities have been initiated to complement the mass movement for
cleanliness, demonstrating that the Government is leading by example.
The States should be appreciated for initiatives such as
waste to wealth programmes, training of self-help groups to drive sanitation
programmes, training of masons, setting up of rural sanitary marts, organising
green elections, CLTS training, ODF mapping, creation of sanitary parks with
model toilets, use of street theatre to communicate message of sanitation and
other events, etc.
At district level, there have been. numerous innovative
activities that go to show change is happening. District administrative bodies
along with civil society are playing a major role in propelling the movement
with a comprehensive sanitation plan. These activities include awareness
building, positive discrimination through activities such as ODF Olympics that
is open only to individuals from ODF villages, morning follow up, monitoring
committees, Gaurav Yatras, human chains and rallies and administering of mass
sanitation pledges, among others.
In some cases the SBM movement has transformed into a fight
against some social malaise. In Bungrail Chowk panchayat in Mandi district of
Himachal Pradesh, women started a fight against their ostracisation during their
menstrual cycle when they were forced to live in cowsheds during the 3-4 day
period. It also became a war against liquor menace when women during their
cleaning exercise found that liquor bottles were a big component of garbage.
Today, the Swachh Bharat Mission and "ODF" has become a household name among
children, women and men, evoking in them a sense of responsibility and pride in
keeping their surroundings clean.
As Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a 'Clean India' MDWS is keen to ensure that
every individual has access to sanitation facilities and that no individual or
community is left out.