One of the major concerns that is plaguing India is the poor state of hygiene and sanitation. According to UNICEF, 595 million people do not use toilets in India. Open defecation is a reality and causes chronic diarrhea that leads to stunting and 1,000 lives are lost every day due to stunting.
In 2014, we partnered with Dettol to launch India’s biggest sanitation campaign – ‘Banega Swachh India’. It is a 5-year program to create awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and also work with NGO partners to support infrastructure for construction and maintenance of toilets.
Banega Swachh India in its third year aims to get the entire nation to come together once again this 2nd October, as we observe this Gandhi Jayanti as the Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas. A day where we urge all Indians to take up swachhta as their personal responsibility and join our movement.
The agenda of the campaign this year is to motivate the masses to clean up India with special focus on 10 the following iconic locations of India:
1. Vaishno Devi: Jammu and Kashmir
2. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Maharashtra
3. Taj Mahal: Uttar Pradesh
4. Tirupati Temple: Andhra Pradesh
5. Golden Temple: Punjab
6. Manikarnika Ghat: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
7. Ajmer Sharif Dargah: Rajasthan
8. Meenakshi Temple: Tamil Nadu
9. Kamakhya Temple: Assam
10. Jagannath Puri: Odisha
In its first year, the campaign worked towards awareness and building toilets. Through our on-air programming, ground reports and ground activations, we sensitized the nation to the cause. The first season culminated into 12 hour LIVE televised CLEANATHON on 14th December, 2014. It was India’s biggest and most popular sanitation event. We raised INR. 281 crores to provide sanitation facilities and create awareness.
We received donations from Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti, Swades Foundation and individuals all across the country. Celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Sachin Tendulkar, extended their support. Policy makers like Uma Bharti, Suresh Prabhu, Arun Jaitley to name a few joined our movement.
The campaign successfully managed to align the campaign goals with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and he applauded our efforts on Twitter during the Cleanathon 2014.
The campaign believes the actual building of toilets is essential, there needs to be a greater focus on ensuring that the toilets are being used.
In its second year, the campaign focused on devising & implementing ‘behavior change communication models’ by a two point agenda:
i. Devising a 45-lesson hygiene curriculum & teacher-training module for schools
ii. Acquiring ‘TIME’ & ‘COMMITMENT’ pledges from people to volunteer towards cleaning India
During the 12 hour televised Cleanathon in 2016 on NDTV network, individuals and corporates pledged over 1.16 crores volunteering hours towards a clean India.
The campaign partnered with Ministry of Urban Development and Union Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu pledged his whole hearted support to the campaign. The Maharashtra Government pledged 50 lakh man hours towards the cause. Corporates like Mahindra & Mahindra, PayTm, Make My Trip, Dabur, CII, Citi Bank etc, joined the bandwagon.