With Sanitation Report Cards And Swachh Walls As Their Weapons, Children From Odisha Slums Fight Open Defecation

New Delhi: On October 2, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will complete its three years, and since the inception of the mega cleanup drive in 2014, when the sanitation scenario in India was mere 39%, it has now shot up to 67.5%. Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission and the newly launched fortnight cleanliness drive Swachhata Hi Seva, Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan‏ said, “The way things are progressing, we’ll have 10 States Open Defecation free by March 2018, on track for ODF India by Oct 2019 #SwachhataHiSeva.”

Also Read: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Turns Three: President Ram Nath Kovind Launches Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign

He also added, in three years, the country has declared its 5 states free from open defecation – Sikkim, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Now everyone should learn from these states.

Talking about the progress India has made till now, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted that in rural India 4.6 Crore household toilets and over 4 lakh school toilets have been constructed. He also added,

People are changing habits, they are moving towards open defecation free.

Till date, around 236,000 villages and 195 districts of India have been declared Open Defecation Free. On Urban front, at least 1,286 cities have declared themselves free from open defecation. And this number is on a continuous rise as many villages, districts, cities have a target to go open defecation free by this Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas – October 2.

Also Read: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Can India Become Open Defecation Free By 2019?

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “2.04 lakh Community toilets seats have already been built and 0.81 lakh are underway; making way for more Open Defecation Free cities. 36.94 lakh individual household toilets have been constructed and another 19.02 lakh are underway.”

He further added that the scale of India’s mega cleanliness drive – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is truly staggering and campaigns like Swachhata Hi Seva helps in sustaining the swachh efforts.

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