A month-long Swachh Bharat special campaign with the theme of “Freedom from Open Defecation” is being organized by The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (Cabinet Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar) throughout this August.
What is Swachh Bharat?
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a national campaign by the Government of India, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.
- The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participated in this event.
- The programme has also received funding and technical support from theWorld Bank, corporations as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives, and by state governments under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan schemes.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is expected to cost over Rs. 620 billion (US$9.2 billion).
- The government provides an incentive of₹12,000 (US$180) for each toilet constructed by a BPL family. Total fund mobilised under Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) as on 31 January 2016 stood at ₹3.69 billion (US$55 million). An amount of ₹90 billion (US$1.3 billion) was allocated for the mission in 2016 Union budget of India.
- It is noted that between April 2014 and January 2015, 31.83 lakh toilets were built.
- Karnataka led all States in construction of toilets under the programme. As of August 2015, 80 lakh toilets have been constructed under the program.
In the month of August, totally 8 days have been dedicated to the swachh bharat campaign in order to demote the open defecation prevalence in India. The complete program as follows:-
|August 1||Launch of its newsletter “Swachhta Samachar” and an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) campaign on social media (twitter.com/swachhbharat).|
|August 5||National Media Interaction on Swachh Bharat Mission to sensitize Media on SBM content and the countrywide efforts being made to make it a success. Also aimed at seeking their feedback.|
|August 11||Launch of 5 SBM movies by the Minister, MDWS, that highlight the impact of SBM on the ground through the stories of grass roots citizen champions|
|August 11||A ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ between the Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and selected Champion Collectors for Swachh Bharat Mission|
|August 14/16||States and Districts to hold mass mobilization events – rallies, runs, human chains, candle march involving ODF champions, opinion leaders, youth, women, children / Special Independence Day events and special events to be organized at district-levels, and Taluka/Block levels to honor local Sanitation Champions
|August 20||Mass event in Allahabad with 1651 Gram Pradhans and associated Pramukhs to motivate them for making villages along the banks of the river Ganga ODF including heads of 52 Zilla Parishads, District Collectors, all other stakeholders from Centre and the States.|
|August 24||Release of ‘Swachh Survekshan’, a Survey commissioned by the Ministry Narendra Singh Tomar through Quality Council of India to rank the top performing districts of the country based on the NSSO survey and the States.|
|August 28||MDWS will launch a series on Swachh Bharat nationwide that will run as a weekly show on prime time on Doordarshan.|
Ill effects of Open Defecation?
Open defecation is the practice of people defecating outside and not into a designated toilet. The term is widely used in literature about water, sanitation and hygiene issues in developing countries. Open defecation causes public health problems in areas where people defecate in fields, urban parks, rivers and open trenches in close proximity to the living space of others.
- Open defecation — and lack of sanitation and hygiene in general – is an important factor in causing various diseases, most notably diarrhea and intestinal worm infections but also typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio, trachoma and others.
- Certain diseases are grouped together under the name of water borne diseases, which are diseases transmitted via fecal pathogens in water. Open defecation can lead to water pollution when rain events flush the feces that are dispersed in the environment into surface water or unprotected wells.
- Open defecation was found by the WHO in 2014 to be a leading cause of diarrheal death; an average of 2,000 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhea.
- Young children are particularly vulnerable to ingesting feces of other people that are lying around after open defecation, because young children crawl on the ground, walk barefoot and put things in their mouths without washing their hands. Feces of farmed animals are equally a cause of concern when children are playing in the yard.