- Government allocated Rs 9,000 crore to Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin
- In March, 2017, 100 districts were declared open defecation free
- So far, more than 3 crore toilets have been built
New Delhi: Open defecation, poor standards in terms of cleanliness and sanitation were some of the few problems that have rapidly grown along with India’s economic status. Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, more than 4.3 crore toilets have been built in last two and half years and five states including Kerala, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Rural Haryana and Rural Uttarakhand have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). The government has set a fresh target to make 300 districts ODF by end of this year. So far, of the total 679 districts in India, 149 districts (and 2 lakh villages) have already been free from open defecation as per the figure given on the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) (SMB-G) portal. With 300 districts going ODF by end of this year, almost 44 per cent of rural population (which is 7,53,573) will have access to individual or community toilets.
As per the ‘Roadmap to Swachh Bharat Mission’ report, only 9 districts had attained the ODF mark in March 2016 and by end of 2016, 65 districts went ODF. As per the latest figure mentioned in the report 137 districts were ODF until May 2017.
— Swachh Bharat (@swachhbharat) July 11, 2017
When India had reached the landmark of 100 districts becoming ODF in March this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced it on twitter and declared ‘Clean India Mission’ a mass movement, “I am glad that the Swachh Bharat Mission is a mass movement, with over 100 districts now Open Defecation Free. #MyCleanIndia.”
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 8, 2017
To initiate a silent and healthy competition among the districts, the government has a provision of ranking districts under the ‘District Performance Index’ on their Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) and its ODF coverage. According the latest results, five of the districts – Dadra And Nagar Haveli (0.00%); Jogulamba Gadwal, Telangana (4.00%); Madhubani, Bihar (8.08%); Muzaffarpur, Bihar (9.03%) and Supaul, Bihar (9.62) – have been ranked at lowest positions.
On an interesting note five Gujarat districts – Amreli, Anand, Dangs, Kheda and Kachchh – have appeared in the ‘ODF Champions Corner’. It is no surprise that all five districts have been from Gujarat considering it is likely to be the sixth state to be declared ODF.
To make the ‘toilet constructing mission’ in rural areas swift and rapid, the SMB-G even increased their budget allocation from Rs 6,525 crore in Financial Year (FY) 2015-16 to Rs 9,000 crore in FY 2016-17, in the hope that India will become open defecation free by 2019.