Swachh Bharat Mission: Rural sanitation coverage crosses the 85% mark
According to Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, rural sanitation coverage of India has risen to 85% under Swachh Bharat Mission. Recent survey conducted by Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages across the country has found usage of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%.
This sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), is significant as it has increased more than double since launch of mission. It has successfully built 7.4 crore toilets across rural India through mobilization of rural communities. As result of it, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts across the country have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). Two independent surveys conducted in past by Quality Council of India (QCI) in 2017 and National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in 2016 had pegged usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively.
Swachh Bharat Mission
SBM was launched in October 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation. The mission aims to achieve Swachh Bharat or make India clean by 2019, as a fitting tribute to 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It world’s largest sanitation program that aimed bring behavioural change of people with respect to toilet access and usage.
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 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.