Monday June 18, 2018

From Total Sanitation Campaign to Swachh Bharat Mission: Over 17 Years, same 5 States hobble Sanitation Mission

No more than 19 per cent of households in Bihar had toilets under earlier sanitation campaigns, followed by Jharkhand with 32 percent

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Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Flickr
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October 10, 2016: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha andJharkhand are the worst performing states under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), which celebrated its second anniversary on October 2, 2016, with fanfare.

No more than 23 per cent households in these five states use toilets, as on September 28, 2016, an increase of only two percent over 15 years, according to government data.

They say history repeats itself; this seems to be ringing true for India’s sanitation programmes.

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The worst-performing states under the SBM are the same as they were under the Total Sanitation Campaign, launched 17 years ago by NDA-1 — the first time the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that followed changed the name of the campaign to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) and increased it to 607 districts.

Together, these states account for 37 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people: 448 million people live in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand — only China with 1.3 billion has more people than these five states. Without headway here, the SBM is not likely to succeed.

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As many as 23 million toilets have now been built across the country, which means 55 percent of Indian households had toilets (till September 28, 2016), up from 42 percent in 2014.

As many as 1,536 villages have been declared open defecation free, up from 697 in 2014; as many as 23 districts are open-defecation free, up from seven districts in 2014.

Bihar had the lowest proportion of households with toilets in 2016: 25 percent, which is an improvement from 22 percent in 2014, according to government data.

Odisha reported an increase in the proportion of households with toilets, from 12 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2016, the largest increase among the bottom five states, but it is still it below the national average of 55 percent households with individual toilets.

Odisha also reported the largest proportion of households practising open defecation (77 percent), followed by Bihar (76 per cent) and Jharkhand (64 percent), according to an answer given to the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Sanitation in February 2016.

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No more than 19 per cent of households in Bihar had toilets under earlier sanitation campaigns, followed by Jharkhand with 32 per cent. More than 91 percent of households practised open defecation in Jharkhand in 2011, followed by Madhya Pradesh (86 per cent) and Odisha (84 per cent).

These states — UP, Bihar, MP, Odisha and Jharkhand — received 45 percent of the national budget for sanitation programmes, IndiaSpend reported in October 2012.

The main reason for sanitation failures in these states is the lack of information and education on sanitation, especially in MP, where large swathes of land are inhabited by tribals. Up to 21 percent of MP is tribal, who speak at least seven languages, while the literature provided by the government is in Hindi, according to this 2015 report by the Comptroller Auditor &General (CAG).

The CAG report also revealed how 13 state governments used sanitation funds for other purposes, such as salary advances and paid leave for staff, vehicle purchases, pension contributions and creation of capital assets such as office and school buildings. (IANS)

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  • Diksha Arya

    the main reason behind this is the lack of awareness. After all, proper Sanitation is one of the basic human rights..

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Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs

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Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs
Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs. wikimedia commons

Shimla, Jan 1, 2018: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday kicked off a cleanliness drive from the state capital under the Swachh Bharat Mission by launching a campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs.

Greeting people on New Year’s day, he said the water tank in Sanjauli town, where the campaign was launched, is the largest in the state with a storage capacity of 90 lakh litres.

He said his government is committed to total cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat Mission of the government of India.

The Chief Minister directed the Irrigation and Public Health Department to undertake a drive to clean water tanks on priority — and asked them to undertake the effort twice a year. Besides, other traditional water sources should also be cleaned regularly.

Noting that, due to the tough topography of the state, people had to often travel long distances to get water, he said: “I assure you that every kitchen and bathroom will have water taps.”

The Chief Minister announced a reduction by half of taxi fares for patients and attendants visiting the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla. The new fare will be Rs 10 per person.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahendar Singh said the cleanliness campaign would continue for 15 days.

Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, who is the legislator from Shimla, said it was unfortunate that a body of a boy was fished out from a water tank in Shimla last year and the government would now ensure that no such incident occured in the future. (IANS)