The Union Government launched an initiative, Swachh Swasth Sarvatra, on December 29, 2016, to strengthen health centers in open defecation-free blocks. The initiative was launched by the Union Health Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Human Resource Development.
Aim: The objective of the initiative is to strengthen community health centres in 708 open defecation free blocks across the country along with behavioural change to enable them achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.
About Swachh Swasth Sarvatra
The ‘Swachh Swasth Sarvatra’ initiative aims to meet the requirements of two complementary programmes namely, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Kayakalp of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has declared over 700 blocks as Open Defecation Free (ODF) under Swachh Bharat Mission. As a part of the initiative, a financial assistance of Rs. 10 lakh will be given to the Community Health Centres (CHCs) in ODF blocks of the country so that they can be strengthened to meet the standards of sanitation, hygiene and infection control.
- Under Kayakalp, one Primary Health Centre (PHCs) in each district is awarded for meeting quality standards including sanitation and hygiene.
- Through the initiative, the Gram Panchayat in which the PHC gets awarded will be noted and special focus will be given to make it ODF.
Swasth Bacche Swasth Bharat
Another joint initiative, ‘Swasth Bacche Swasth Bharat’ (Healthy Children Healthy India) was also launched on the occasion between Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- Healthy Children Healthy India is a booklet that contains tips on leading a healthy life for children.
- Speaking about the initiative, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, Ministry of Human Resource Development, said that the power of children is the biggest change agent and educated children will be the best agents to spread the message of sanitation to their parents. By focusing on children Swachh Swasth Sarvatra will lead to an ODF India by 2019.
Swachh Bharat Mission
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a national campaign officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive with 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participating in this event.
- It focus on constructing toilets with the goal of making India open defecation free by 2019 covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns.
- The government is aiming to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India, at a projected cost of Rs.1.96 lakh crore (US$29 billion).
- The Swachh Bharat Mission under the National Health Mission has achieved ODF status for about 70 districts, over 700 blocks, and over 1.3 lakh villages of the country.