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Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Updated on :  

08 min read.

It is often said that in order to foster health and well being, the cleanliness of one’s surroundings plays a pivotal role. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was introduced by the Government of India on October 2nd, 2014, paying tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It was Gandhiji who emphasised on Swachata (cleanliness); he truly believed it was the way to a healthy and prosperous life.

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan looks to cover all the rural as well as urban areas all over India. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs would have oversight regarding the urban part of the mission, and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation would focus on the rural part of the mission.

Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban

The Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) comes under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The areas of focus include:

  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Construction of proper toilets
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Information and Education Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness
  • Capacity Building

Educating people about cleanliness and sanitation is one of the primary objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is only once people are aware of the role of sanitation in the health and well being of a person and society that they will pay heed to and adhere to the rules regarding the same. 

The programme also aims to eradicate open defecation, manual scavenging, amongst other things and to instil in people a sense of basic hygiene. Moreover, it aims to construct toilets in households, public toilets as well as community toilets so that there is an abundance of facilities and also so that the people begin to cultivate a sense of hygiene and sanitation. The programme furthers aims at setting up a solid waste management system in each town so that the spirit of cleanliness is present.

The targeted achievements include:-

  • ODF+ certification to all statutory towns. ODF Certification refers to Open Defecation Free Certification.
  • Statutory towns with less than 1 lakh population – ODF++ certification.
  • Water+ certification for 50% of statutory towns with less than 1 lakh population.
  • Rating of 3 star Garbage Free as per the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free cities for all the statutory towns.
  • Bioremediation of all legacy dumpsites.

Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin

The rural project goes by the name Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin and comes under the purview of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The main objective is to ensure that the villages and surrounding areas are free from open defecation. The availability of a solid and liquid waste management system is also part of the programme so as to ensure a higher standard of sanitation and hygiene, and above all, cleanliness.

The programme aims to ensure that the rural households are provided with Individual Household Latrines, especially for those below the poverty line. Moreover, community toilets are also to be constructed as part of the programme. Availability of regular clean water for storing and for other purposes is also ensured by the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin programme.

It is said to be the world’s largest behaviour change programme and is going about it the right way since the aim is to ensure that this change is brought about at the grassroot levels. In calling upon the people to be partakers in this programme, there is a sense of responsibility instilled in every individual, reminding them that they have a personal duty towards the cleanliness of their surroundings and their society.

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