The Gist of Kurukshetra: November - 2016


The Gist of Kurukshetra: November 2016


  • Swachh Bharat Mission: From Behaviour Chance to Social Change (Free Available)
  • 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 the womenfolk.

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 all.

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.

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