Swachh Bharat Mission: an updated holistic analysis

Introduction:

  • The Government of India has launched “Swachh Bharat Mission” on 2nd October, 2014.
  • The target is to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, as a fitting tribute to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Aim:

  • It aims to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation.

What are the components of Swachh Bharat Mission?

  • The Mission has following components:
  • Construction of Household Toilets,
  • Community and Public Toilets,
  • Solid Waste Management,
  • Information, Education & Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness, and
  • Capacity Building and Administrative & Office Expenses (A&OE).

What is the division of fund for the completion of the Mission?  

  • The total cost estimate for the Mission is Rs. 62,009 crore.

Central Government and the State Government/ Urban Local Bodies (ULBs):

  • The funding pattern between the Central Government and the State Government/ Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) is 75%:25%(90% : 10% for North Eastern and special category states).

Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK):

  • The gap in financing of the aforesaid components could be met by Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) has been set up to attract Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from Corporate Sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists.

Other sources:

  • The other sources of fund are considered to be from the beneficiary contribution, private funding, and funds with private companies under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

What are the subdivisions of Swachh Bharat Mission?

  • There are two Sub-Missions of the mission:
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)

What is Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)?

  • In Rural India, Swachh Bharat Mission would mean, improving the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.

Objectives:

The objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) are as follows:

Improvement in the general quality of life:

  • To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.

Accelerate sanitation coverage:

  • To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2019.

Adopt sustainable sanitation:

  • To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.

Encourage technologies:

  • To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.

Develop community managed sanitation systems:

  • To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.

Create positive impact on gender:

  • To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities

Progress made so far for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) under the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017:

  • Under the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017, 4 lakh rural households across 4626 villages were surveyed.
  • 2, 20,104 villages, 160 districts and 5 States declared Open Defecation Free.
  • It reported that the overall toilet coverage is 45%.
  • The survey also observed that 29%of the people having access to a toilet use.

What is Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)?

  • In urban area, Swachh Bharat Mission would mean elimination of open defecation, conversion of unsanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, municipal solid waste management and bringing about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.

Objectives:

  • The objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) are:

Eliminate open defecation:

  • To completely irradiate open defecation from its grass root level.

Abolishing manual scavenging:

  • To completely eradicated Illegal practice of manual scavenging.

Modern and Scientific Municipal Solid Waste Management:

  • To collection and scientific processing/disposal reuse/recycle of Municipal Solid Waste.

Behavioral change:

  • To bring about a behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.

Generate awareness:

  • To generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.

Strengthening of urban local bodies:

  • To strengthen urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems.

Environment for private sector participation:

  • To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.

Progress made so far for Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) under Swaach Sarvekshan 2017:

  • Under the Swaach Sarvekshan 2017, 404 cities where more than 75% of the residential areas were found substantially clean.
  • 1, 338 cities have been found to be Open Defection Free.
  • 85 cities’ waste segregation is sustained at all processing stages in more than 75 wards.
  • 40, 84, 620 toilets have been constructed so far.

What are the other special initiatives and projects under Swachh Bharat Mission?

Making Swachhata Everyone’s Business:

  • The Prime Minister of the country is of the view that Swachhata has to be everyone’s business and not only that of the sanitation departments.
  • A host of special initiatives and projects have come out in quick time in this process, which are as follows:

Namami Gange:

  • Namami Gange Programme is an initiative of Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR), comprising of making villages on the bank of River Ganga ODF and interventions dealing with solid and liquid waste management are being implemented by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Swachhata Action Plan (SAP):

  • SAP, a first of its kind inter-ministerial programme for Swachhta where all Union Ministries/Departments have started to work for its realization in a significant manner with appropriate budget provisions.

Swachhata Pakhwada (SP):

  • Swachhta Pakhwada aims at bringing a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and practices of Swachhta by engaging GOI Ministries/Departments in their jurisdictions.

Swachh Swasth Sarvatra (SSS):

  • Swachh Swasth Sarvatra involves focusing on WASH parameters in selected hospitals, priority ODF action in areas around identified health centres, and advanced sanitation training for doctors and health workers.

Swachhata at Petrol Pumps:

  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has developed a Mobile app namely swachhta@PetrolPump which will help to monitor and maintain the cleanliness of the toilets and can be downloaded from all App stores.

Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra:

  • Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra is planned to disseminate all information on sanitation matters and advanced toilet technology among people.
  • It will also showcase ongoing SBM efforts across the country as well as history of sanitation in India, Interministerial coordination initiatives, interactive programme and a Swachhta learning centre.

Swachh Iconic Places (SIP):

  • The government has taken up a multi-stakeholder initiative focusing on cleaning up 100 places across India that is “iconic” due to its heritage, religious and/or cultural significance.

Inter-faith cooperation:

  • The Ministry is working with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and other faith-based organisations to take forward the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission
  • This is being done across several areas including villages on the banks of river Ganga.

What are the recent drawbacks that are emerging in the way of the mission?

The emerging drawbacks of the Swaach Bharaat Mission are as follows:

No strategy for solid waste management:

  • There is an absence of any initiative or lack of any willingness to take any positive steps for solid waste management.

No progress in urban sewage system:

  • India has managed to connect only a little more than a third of its urban households, most of which are located in metropolitan cities, to sewerage systems.

Impact of GST:

  • The rolling out of GST has abolished the Swachh Bharat cess.
  • The implementation of a high tax rate of 18% on soaps and 12% on sanitary napkins adds to the concern.

Social construct:

  • Many communities still regard the inclusion of a sanitary toilet as ritual and physical pollution of the house.

Behavioral change:

  • The biggest problem in India has never been the building of toilets; it has been promoting their use and changing the behavior of open defecation.

Lack of education:

  • Most of the money is going towards latrine construction, and very little towards information, education, and communication.

What needs to be taken into consideration in order to accelerate the success rate of Swachh Bharat Mission?

  • Swachh Bharat Mission needs to increase both the coverage and use of toilets, as well as improved hygienic practices.
  • Political will and commitment is required urgently to tackle the crisis of sanitation.
  • Unless faecal waste is treated properly and disposed of safely, it will find its way back into our bodies.
  • Urban local bodies and State governments could ensure that the larger containment systems such as community toilets and public toilets are properly constructed and managed.
  • Permission could be granted to new buildings, especially large apartment complexes only when the applicants show proper septage construction designs.
  • The safety of sanitary workers who clean tanks and pits must be ensured by enforcing occupational safety precautions.
  • It is to ensure inclusion, recognising the importance of safe and accessible toilets specific to the needs of the differently-abled, the elderly, the poorest, as well as women and adolescent girls.
  • Various awareness campaigns should initiated at all levels to create awareness and people’s participation in the Mission.
  • Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) also play a strategic role in creating awareness and imparting hygiene education among the local population.

Conclusion:

  • Cleanliness begins at home, thus as the citizens of India, each one of us needs to observe cleanliness at our grass root levels.
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