New Delhi: Over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 5.6 lakh (5,64,658) villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), says the Economic Survey 2018-19 which Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled in Parliament on Thursday. The Economic Survey has outlined the progress made in the SBM that was initiated in 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019.
SBM is one of the largest cleanliness drives as well as an attempt to effect the behavioural change in the world. The Survey says,
Through SBM, 99.2 per cent of rural India has been covered in the last four years. Since October 2014, over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF).
As on 14 June 2019, 30 States and Union Territories are 100 per cent covered with an individual household latrine (IHHL). The SBM has significantly improved health outcomes,” the report says.
The SBM has helped reduce diarrhoea and malaria among children below five years, stillbirth and low birth weight (new-born with weight less than 2.5 kilograms). The Survey adds,
This effect is particularly, pronounced in districts where IIHL coverage was lower is 2015.
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.