Mahatma Gandhi once said, – “Sanitation is more important than Independence”. India gained freedom under the leadership of this great man but his dream of a clean India is not fulfilled yet. On the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s declaration of its rural areas is now open and defecation-free is the best tribute to our Nation’s Father. This achievement is done under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan which was launched by PM Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014. Thenceforward, this mission has been creating great awareness among the people of India regarding cleanliness.
This mission is accomplished in a few major phases like the building of individual and public toilets and sludge and solid waste management etc. According to government data, 110 million toilets were built under this program then counts as an achievement in itself. Over 10cr toilets have been built in rural areas till now over 5.9 lakh villages have declared themselves as Open Defecation-Free. Moreover, to motivate public authorities, every year cities, towns, and railway stations across India are awarded on the bases of their cleanliness and sanitation. This play a great role in reducing health expenses and death rate. Further, cleanliness draws the attention of global investors and tourists.
But there is another aspect as well. Merely building new toilets is not going to change the game. India needs to move beyond that and take steps towards efficient faecal sludge management for a safer environment which doesn’t pose any threat to the heath of its people. This is a long road and the government can hope to achieve sustainable outcomes only if it prioritizes citizen rights and community participation.
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