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| Last Updated:13/09/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

Sangita Vyas: Swachch Bharat Mission: It's not just about building toilets

Business Standard, 03 September 2014


During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech, we learned that his Swachch Bharat Mission to eliminate open defecation in India by Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, would begin in less than two months on October 2. What was missing, though, was how? How will the government achieve its goal by 2019? What should the mission entail?


Well, let's examine the government sanitation policy to date for a moment. For the past 15 years, the Total Sanitation Campaign, and then the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), have been trying to improve sanitation coverage across rural India by building both household and community latrines. But despite these efforts, there has been little reduction in open defecation. In fact, from 2001 to 2011, latrine coverage in rural India increased by about one percentage point each year. At this rate, it would take 50 years to eliminate open defecation. Continuing with the same policy is, therefore, not going to help achieve the government's goal. Read more....