Swachh Bharat Mission | AIR Spotlight

The Swachh Bharat Mission status report 2015 states that more than half of the rural population defecates in open. As per 2011 census more than 68% of rural population were going for open defecation. The data from UNICEF and other studies has declared that almost 400 children under the age of  5 years in India die due to diarrhoea linked to poor sanitation and hygiene.

Due to lack of toilet facilities in the school premises, many of the girl students leave their education mid-way and remain uneducated. The government had started the  “Nirmal Bharat programme” which stressed on toilets for girl child in schools.

If 50% of the population remains uneducated because of lack of toilets, it is the liability on the nation and actually a shame on our country.

Swachh Bharat Mission | About

  • Swachh Bharat is a very holistic approach of the government and elimination of open defecation is one part of it.
  • The major part of the scheme is to keep clean every part of city, village and home It also entails Swachh Bharat in people’s mind. 
  • The prime minister nominated 9 celebrities and asked them to bring in 9 more people so that the chain effect will continue and the people will take it up.
  • People have taken it up in the social media by spreading the massage through innovative ways.
  • Swachh Bharat has to be a mission of the people, by the people facilitated by the Government.
  • Swachh Bharat should be a passion rather than a mission. People should be passion to see their country clean in every aspect.

Swachh Bharat Mission | Solutions

  • It is the high time that we need a model village in each district which will have a repercussion in other villages.
  • An important step is to create the mindset in the people that elimination of open defecation is for their good and which improves their health. The girl child and the women are exposed to insecurity.
  • Whenever people have to use toilets, there has to be water and electricity. The move to make India clean has to start with the schools and homes with a focussed attention for usability of the toilets.
  • Villages have very small houses and much clustered places where there is no place to construct toilets. The ideal solution is to have mohalla toilets designated to each house where people will keep their toilet clean by seeing others. One advantage is that when the toilets are outside the home, there will be a peer pressure to keep it clean.
  • For India constructing toilets is like a social work and not a development work. Once it is seen as a development work with country’s image, then the thrust will come and the people will realise how important it is and we should not lag behind other countries.
  • The simple process to have safe drinking water is to boil the water. The bigger challenge is to make water available in the rural areas. There are many hand pumps which are not working.
  • In schools it is the responsibility of the teachers and they have to be oriented to ensure that the child knows about hygiene which also includes knowing how to use a toilet.

Swachh Bharat Mission | Conclusion

People would have to clear their mind discarding all the old system of working. We have to bring in Swachh Bharat in overall perspective. It should not remain as elitist, fun oriented business; rather it has to be very seriously taken. The student community has to take a big role in this. This is project which should be taken forward by the civil society in a big way. The Swachh Bharat mission has created moral sense, awareness and responsibility. India is a vast country, so it takes lot of time to reach out to all the people.

Raj Malhotra IAS Study Group.