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India is now Open Defecation Free

  • Category
    Society
  • Published
    8th Oct, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2019 declared that India open-defecation free (ODF).

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2019 declared that India open-defecation free (ODF).

About

  • Swachh Bharat Mission was initiated on the 2nd October 2014 when toilet coverage in the country was 39 per cent. On 2nd October 2019 India is having 100% toilet coverage.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission is an outstanding example of participatory approach and transformative development.
  • Construction of toilets improves the socio-economic and health status of people.
  • The first step of toilet construction was achieved through constant communication and information and the next step would be to bring a behavioural change so that people are motivated to ensure usage of the toilets.
  • This achievement of making India ODF is in line with Mahatma Gandhi's vision for India.
  • PM Modi was given Global Goalkeeper award for making India ODF by Gates Foundation in 2019.

Challenges

  • In Odisha, a few villages had achieved open-defecation free (ODF) status prior to Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Every household now has an extra toilet, due to SBM. Yet people are forced to defecate in the open because of acute water scarcity.  
  • Unsafe child stool disposal has received limited attention in sanitation policy in India with the country’s historic focus on household toilet infrastructure.
  • India lags in drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Conclusion

Rs 3.5 lakh crore was allocated under Jal Shakti Mission dedicated for water sustainability. If people adopt the principles of water recycling and water recharge, it would help achieve sustainable water connectivity and availability to toilets ensuring constant usage.

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