[Answered] Discuss the reasons behind the success of Swachh Bharat mission. How success of campaign against open-defecation can act as a model for other schemes and policies?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Various reasons for such massive transformation. SBM as a model to follow for other policies and schemes.
Conclusion. Way forward.

From being home to the highest number of open defecators in the world, India is now being claimed as an open defecation free nation, in just last 5 years. Even many decades after independence the cumulative sanitation coverage in rural part of the country was just about 38%. Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in 2014, almost all the rural households in the country have been provided toilets making it a grand success.

Various reasons for such massive transformation:

  1. Political Push: Primary importance was given to cleanliness and sanitation by all the political identities including the Prime Minster of India. The cause was championed by giving the country a time-bound goal to work towards achieving clean and ODF India by October 2, 2019. This gave significant prominence to SBM.
  2. Public Finance: For the ambitious program, the government released funds in a time-bound manner. India’s rural sanitation budget in excess of $20 billion is the largest in the world. As part of the drive, the government provides financial incentive as well to too to economically and weaker sections across the country to build and use toilets at Rs 12,000 per eligible household.
  3. Partnerships: The government has built several strategic partnerships to mainstream sanitation in all sectors, which have helped it achieve the goal. As part of the mission, all ministries all putting efforts to improve sanitation in their respective spheres of influence such as hospitals, schools, anganwadis, markets, highways and railways. Also, several developmental agencies and corporates have also participated in and supported the mission.
  4. People’s participation: The mission has brought together all section of society from film stars to sportspersons to the common man. A sense of responsibility has been evoked among the people through the Clean India Movement. With citizens now becoming active participants in cleanliness activities across the nation, the dream of a ‘Clean India’ once seen by Mahatma Gandhi has begun to get a shape.
  5. Behavioural change: Scheme focused on behaviour change and led to change in habits and attitude of people. Without change in behaviour SBM could not have been a success, as it is must for people to use toilets and instil a behaviour of cleanliness.

Why success of campaign against open-defecation is a model to follow for other schemes and policies?

  1. Mission showed how political leadership can lead to a major social revolution and transformation.
  2. Mission is a model that show how community and people’s participation can lead to a major policy success.
  3. It showed that for a scheme or policy that require a development of new habit must be on instilling a behaviour change, that would ensure success of any policy and scheme.
  4. It reflect that for a change that require massive efforts grass-root level workers trained in community approaches and involved in triggering a behavioural change can help in making a policy massive success.
  5. It also showed that deeply entrenched cultural contexts must be taken into account for successful policy outcomes. India needs to change perceptions of ritual purity through education and awareness in rural areas.

Thus SBM which turned out as an overall success showed how political will and community efforts together can bring out wonders. SBM can act as model policy for other policies and showed how a policy must be approached successfully that aim to instil a behaviour change at massive scale.

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