New Delhi: Lauding India’s progress towards becoming an open defecation free (ODF) country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 23 said that had programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan been launched 70 years ago, India would have become a disease-free country. Talking about India’s national sanitation mission Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Gujarat, where the Prime Minister was for a day-long visit, PM Modi said that India’s initiatives to provide better sanitation facilities were being universally appreciated.
The Prime Minister quoted a World Health Organization (WHO) report, which praised the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan earlier this month. The report, which was published in August 4, concluded that the rural wing of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will be successful in averting over 3 lakh deaths, which would have occurred due to unsafe sanitation practices. PM Modi said that the Swachhata Abhiyan is directly connected to health and safe sanitation practices directly translated to better health for people across the country. The PM said that had services like safe sanitation and waste management been introduced 70 years before, the country would be disease-free by now.
Talking about health, PM Modi said that moving towards an ODF status was the country’s biggest achievement in the health sector, as an ODF India will inevitably mean a healthier India, with less people suffering from diseases like diarrhoea.
With over 8.2 crore toilets built across rural India alone and sanitation coverage of above 90 per cent, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is steadily progressing towards the national ODF deadline of October 2, 2019. The Prime Minister has been quite vocal about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan right from the mission’s inception in October 2014, and continues to mention the mission’s success. On the occasion of Independence Day this year, Prime Minister Modi had said that Mahatma Gandhi had given more importance to cleanliness than he gave to freedom, and on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary next year, a cleaner India will be the perfect tribute for him.
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.