New Delhi: The fight for a Swachh and healthy India continues! In little over 2 years, since the inception of the Government’s mega Clean India drive, a lot has been achieved, but, the road to Swachh Bharat is long. The Government in the latest progress report announced that under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, total sanitation coverage in India has increased to 64.18% as of July 2017 from 41.86% in October 2014. Till now the government has built around 4.3 crore toilets and the aim is to roughly construct 11.1 crore toilets by 2019.
#SwachhBharat: Heralding a Hygienic, Healthy #NewIndia pic.twitter.com/lhipedIsEH
— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) July 12, 2017
Five states of India –Kerala, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Rural Haryana and Rural Uttarakhand, have gone Open Defecation Free (ODF). Further break down of the ODF numbers reveals that around 2.05 lakh villages and 149 districts are now open defecation free. Keeping the Clean India target of 100% ODF by 2019 in mind, during the review meeting of the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Urban Development Secretary, Durga Shanker Mishra announced that States like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Telangana will be declared open defecation free by October 2017. India’s 7 Union Territories have set a deadline for themselves, they are targetting March 2018 to be completely Open Defecation Free.
India still has a long way to go as around 450 million people are still defecating in the open.
Also Read:Funding Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Banks and Micro-Finance Institutions Have A Crucial Role To Play In Supporting Rural Sanitation In India