Arunachal Pradesh declared open defecation-free State
Arunachal Pradesh was officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) state. It is second State from Northeast, after Sikkim and overall fifth state after Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana to be declared ODF state.
The announcement comes after three remaining districts – Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang were officially declared ODF. Arunachal Pradesh has total 21 districts and it attained this major cleanliness feat under Swach Bharat Abhiyan much before (one year and 10 months ahead) the national deadline of October 2, 2019.
Arunachal Pradesh had under taken ODF project under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) SBM (G) by extending incentive of Rs 8,000 per toilet. This was addition to Central Government’s support of Rs 12,000, raising the grant for constructing a toilet to Rs 20,000.
The State government also had launched Swachh Arunachal Mission on October 2, 2017 at Tawang which envisaged Swachh Protocol (Cleanliness Protocol) aimed at ensuring sustainability of assets created under SBM (Gramin).
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)
The SBM was launched in October 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation. It aims to achieve Swachh Bharat or make India clean by 2019, as a fitting tribute to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The SBM consists of two sub-missions Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), implemented in rural areas, and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), implemented in urban areas. SBM-G seeks to eliminate open defecation in rural areas by improving access to sanitation by ensuring the use of toilets, besides their construction.
It also seeks to generate awareness to motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices, and encourage the use of appropriate technologies for sanitation. Open defecation is an important factor for causing various diseases like intestinal worm infections, diarrhoea, polio, hepatitis etc.