New Delhi: From increasing the rural sanitation coverage of India from mere 38 per cent in 2014 to 94 per cent now to constructing more than 9 crore toilets and making 4.5 lakh villages, 450 districts, 25 states and Union Territories open defecation free, the ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission has achieved a lot. And, now all this work has once again received a thumbs up from one of the world’s most successful and influential businessman and philanthropist, Bill Gates. Appreciating the work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for their flagship programme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Bill Gates in a message on social media said,
The leadership of @narendramodi and the Indian government has played an important role in improving sanitation. Now is the time to build on the success of @swachhbharat.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 9, 2018
Not just that, on October 2, when India was celebrating Gandhi Jayanti and Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, Bill Gates while speaking at the Goalkeepers event in New York that showcased efforts made to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals congratulated the Indian government for “shining a light on sanitation.” He said,
Most governments do not talk about sanitation, therefore, it remains a hidden problem. The Indian government is to be congratulated for putting a focus on sanitation.
Mr Gates also feels that India is on track to meet its sanitation goals. He adds,
“Given that this is a long lead time in terms of capital investment and the processes, I feel good about the progress that’s been made.”
Last year too, Bill Gates in his blog titled ‘India Is Winning Its War On Human Waste’, lauded the government’s commitment towards improving the sanitation in the country and talked about how he “loved” the mission, its uniqueness and the considerable progress it had managed to make in a short span of time. Mr Gates in his blog post had also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to clean India and end open defecation was “one of the boldest comments on public health” that he had ever heard from an elected official and that he couldn’t think of any other time when a national leader had broached such a sensitive topic so frankly and so publicly.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.