- Toilets in rural households rose from 42 per cent to 63 per cent since 2014
- Chapters of cleanliness have been added in schools
- There is certain kind of silent competition among states to reach ODF mark
New Delhi: In over two and half years since the Swachh Bharat Mission started, more than 1,80,000 villages, 130 districts and three states have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). This was stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating an exhibition titled ‘Swachhagrah – Bapu Ko Karyanjali – Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani’ to mark the 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha, his first battle against the British rule in India. Emphasising that his government has taken up this work on priority, Mr Modi said that access to toilets in rural households rose from 42 per cent to 63 per cent since 2014 when the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched.
Acknowledging that there is certain kind of silent competition among the states to reach the ODF mark, the Prime Minister said that while Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have been declared ODF, states like Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarkhand and some others are moving forward in that direction.
Efforts are also being made to make villages, situated along the river Ganga, open defecation free. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said,
75 per cent villages along the banks of Ganga in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been declared as ODF. Waste management programme has been planned so that village’s garbage does not pollute the river. I hope the banks of Ganga become ODF at the earliest.
He also highlighted how tweets related to uncleanliness in railways receive prompt response and are met with quick action, reflecting his government’s commitment to ensure cleanliness. He further added,
Almost all government schools, there are different toilets for girls and boys. Chapters of cleanliness have been added in schools.
PM Modi said the dream of a clean India envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi remains unrealised after independence and apart from paying him tributes (Shraddhanjali), the country should also work (Karyanjali) to realise that. He said,
If Gandhiji undertook satyagraha to free the nation (from British rule), it is the time to undertake swachhagrah to wage a war against uncleanliness.
In this direction, PM Modi talked about another mantra for Clean India – Waste to Wealth. The aim being wealth creation from household waste and construction waste. This waste can be used to generate electricity, make fertilisers or simply recycled and reused. Various states and central government departments are taking measures to formulate this mantra, he said.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Modi said, has launched a mobile app where complaints for over 55,000 petrol pumps can be lodged if toilets in their premises are found to be unclean. On similar lines ‘Rashtriya Swachhta Kendra’ (National Cleanliness Centre) will be launched in Delhi, where people can get all the information on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and advanced technologies being used as part of the campaign.