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

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 the 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 Swachh Bharat mission achievements:

  1. Political Push: Primary importance was given to cleanliness and sanitation by all the political identities including the Prime Minister 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. The government provides Rs 12,000 per eligible household to economically weaker sections across the country to build the toilets.
  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 are putting efforts to improve sanitation in their respective spheres of influence, such as hospitals, schools, anganwadis, highways and railways. Also, several developmental agencies and corporates like Dabur, TCS, Indian Oil, GAIL and others 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 a must for people to use toilets and instil a behaviour of cleanliness. Swachhta doots have been appointed for behavioural change under the scheme.

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

  1. Political leadership: Mission showed how political leadership can lead to a major social revolution and transformation. Thus other policies if pushed by the same political will, would lead to exemplary results. When Prime minister himself engaged in the mission, people followed.
  2. Community participation: Mission is a model that shows how community and people’s participation can lead to a major policy success. For example, an increased public participation in Umthli village in East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya is a perfect example of community involvement. Taking the message of Swachhta seriously, this village has completely got itself rid of liquid waste and the problem of litter within a period of 4-5 months.
  3. Behavioural aspect: 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 the success of any policy and scheme. For example, Vidya Balan in an advertisement for Swachh Bharat, urged the women to not marry if there were no toilets in the households.
  4. Grass-root work: 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. For example, to take its Clean India campaign to grass roots level, the Centre made “active participation” of millions of MGNREGA workers for the ambitious cleanliness drive.
  5. Cultural context: 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 a massive scale.

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