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Swachh Bharat Diwas Celebrated In Many States To Mark Success In Rural Sanitation

Swachh Bharat Diwas was celebrated across gram panchayats in several states to honour the relentless work done by district administrations and local people to improve India’s rural sanitation scenario

Gram Panchayats Across India Come Together To Celebrate Swachh Bharat Diwas
  • Swachh Bharat Diwas was celebrated across 20,000 villages in Chhattisgarh
  • The day was also celebrated in other states of Andhra Pradesh and Kashmir
  • Nearly 7 crore toilets have been built in rural India since October 2014

New Delhi: The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been the Union government’s hallmark sanitation programme, With its epicenter as India’s rural landscapes, and one and a half years to go for the open defecation free (ODF) deadline of October 2019, the sanitation coverage in rural areas is up from 38.70% in 2014 to 82% in 2018. Celebrating the progress made by rural areas under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, several gram panchayats across multiple states celebrated Swachh Bharat Diwas or Swachh Bharat Day on April 18.

Leading the celebrations, Chhattisgarh celebrated the day in nearly 20,000 villages across 10,971 gram panchayats. Heads of all ODF villages, along with the respective district administrations conducted several rallies throughout their respective gram panchayats to mark the successful implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s objectives. Chhattisgarh’s rural sanitation coverage languished at 40 per cent back in 2014, but has today touched 100 per cent due to the relentless efforts of district administrations and local population,who have divided responsibilities among themselves to construct toilets and simultaneously bring in behavioural change.

We are celebrating our achievements which have managed to not just construct toilets, but bring in a sense of cleanliness among people. Verifications are going on now and we are confident of declaring ODF status for the whole state before October 2018, said Rupesh Kumar Rathore, State Coordinator for Sanitation, Chhattisgarh

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s felicitation of Swachhagrahis at the #ChaloChamparan movement which celebrated the toilet construction spree in Bihar, the state government of Chhattisgarh will felicitate the employees, citizens and NGOs which have worked to make Chhattisgarh’s ODF dream a reality on April 20. Between April 18 to 20, several workshops will also be held as a part of Swachhata Diwas, which will give basic training to people on toilet construction and maintenance.

Four years back, it would have been difficult to believe that rural Chhattisgarh would go open defecation free within such a short period of time. We are grateful to all the district collectors who have worked throughout the duration of these four years and made this possible, said Taran Prakash Sinha, Panchayat Department Director.

Elsewhere, the day was celebrated across gram panchayats in several other states where pits were dug by administrative officials and locals began the construction of toilet work. In Andhra Pradesh, Minister of Transport K Atchannaidu participated in a rally at the Nimadda Gram Panchayat, which was organised as a part of the Swachh Bharat Day. In Tripura, several district administrative officials participated in Shram Daan or volunteering activities to lay the foundation stones for toilets in non-ODF villages. Rallies were also taken out in support of the day across several gram panchayats in Tripura. In Kashmir’s Poonch district, 23 gram panchayats celebrated the day with interaction between ODF and non-ODF villages, the former helping the latter to dig pits for toilet construction. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju too joined the volunteering during a Swachh Bharat Diwas celebration at Bhalukpong, Arunachal Pradesh.

The number of toilets built in rural India is nearing 7 crore and nearly 3,50,000 villages have become completely ODF, as per data from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The enthusiastic participation of people across states to build toilets and ensure better sanitation facilities for themselves, is where the real success of the Abhiyan lies, till now.

Also Read: Narendra Modi Addresses 20,000 ‘Swachhagrahis’ In Bihar As Chalo Champaran Comes To An End

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