- Out of the 6, 40,867 villages in India 2 lakh have become ODF
- Sanitation coverage has increased from 38% to 62% in 2 years
- PM has hinted towards a healthy competition among states to be ODF
35 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared 1, 80,000 villages open defecation free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the government on May 26 declared another 20,000 villages free from open defecation. At present, out of the 6, 40,867 villages in India 2 lakh have become ODF. More than 40 crore toilets have been built since the inception of Swachh Bharat campaign. Calling it a ‘milestone’, the government took to twitter and announced the latest development. “Another milestone has been achieved in the #SwachhBharat journey. 2 lakh villages in the country declared #OpenDefecationFree”
— Swachh Bharat I #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav (@swachhbharat) May 27, 2017
So far, about 139 district and three states including Kerala, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh have attained the ODF mark. Prime Minister Modi had even hinted towards a certain kind of healthy competition among states to declare itself ODF. Many states of India like Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Mizoram and Uttarakhand are on the verge of becoming ODF. The government aims to make India ODF by October 2 2019.
Apart from the efforts being made at the villages, districts, state level, under Swachh Bharat Mission, additional efforts are being made to make villages along the banks of Ganga ODF in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Almost 75 per cent those villages have been declared as ODF. “I hope the banks of Ganga become ODF at the earliest,” Prime Minister Modi had said an event recently. The government is also striving hard to clean India’s largest and holiest river – Ganga under the ‘Namami Gange’ initiative.
With all the toilets being constructed under the Abhiyan, the sanitation coverage has also increased from 42 per cent in 2014 to about 62 per cent now. In addition to the ODF target, municipal bodies across the country are rigorously working towards tackling India’s humungous problem of waste management. Many cities have already initiated the practice of waste segregation which is the first step towards controlling overall waste generation and then putting the waste to use through recycling and composting rather than just dump it.