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| Last Updated:14/10/2014

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Sanitation and state capacity

Indian Express, 14 October 2014

 

Prime Minister Modi announced his Swachh Bharat campaign to much media fanfare. Central government employees helped kick off the campaign by sweeping parts of Delhi and taking a cleanliness pledge. Broom in hand, Modi himself led the way. While sceptics may see it as yet another expertly orchestrated public relations campaign, the PM’s decision to take up such a vital yet neglected issue carries both symbolic and substantive value. Public hygiene and sanitary conditions across India are nothing short of appalling. Campaigns to raise awareness and civic responsibility are desperately needed. On the symbolic side, having public employees lead the campaign on Gandhi Jayanti demonstrates that all citizens, irrespective of class, caste or gender, have a joint responsibility to keep public spaces clean. As for substance, the government is committing more than Rs 2 lakh crore in public spending by 2019. A large part of this will go towards building new toilets. Read more....