- The Swachhagraha Express will travel across 60 stations
- The train will exhibit the progress of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
- The train will be flagged off on the anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha
Mumbai: In 1917, indigo cultivators of Champaran were successful in freeing themselves from the shackles of the British Raj through a non-violent civil disobedience movement. Drawing parallels with the Champaran Satyagraha on its 100th anniversary in 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed everyone to take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha and free the country from the unclean and unhygienic environment. Going a step forward this year, the Prime Minister is all set to mark the event by flagging off Swachhagraha Express on April 10.
The train will exhibit the nationwide status report of the massive Clean India Mission started in 2014 with an aim to make the country open defecation free by 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The aim of this one-of-its-kind train-exhibition is to re-emphasise the spirit of cleanliness and sanitation, a goal envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle.
The train journey, which will begin from Motihari in Bihar, will travel across 60 remote stations of India with a time frame of six months. The objective is to generate mass awareness in ‘far-flung’ areas,
The purpose of the Swachhagraha Express is to reach out to far-flung areas, creating awareness about cleanliness, which was also a key element of the Champaran movement, a senior official involved with the project told IANS.
Elements of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan including sanitation, water, hygiene, usage and installation of toilets, waste management and many such issues will be displayed on the 14-coach train. Detailed account of the milestones and progress like number of toilets built, sanitation coverage percentage, and figures related to garbage crisis will be showcased to people, especially children.
The initiative has been undertaken by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in collaboration with the Ministry of Railway.
It has been over three years since the launch of the ambitious swachhta initiative and so far over 6 crore toilets have been built. The aim of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to build approximately 11 crore toilets by October 2, 2019.
A total of 314 districts, 3,23,560 and 11 states/Union Territories including Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya have eliminated the old practice of open defecation and achieved the open defecation free title so far. As for the sanitation coverage, it has increased from a mere 38.70% in 2014 to 78.98% in 2018.