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1. Introduction

1.1. Swachhata – A Way of Life

  • ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ – For Mahatma Gandhi this was not just a thought but a way of life. His concept of cleanliness was not just cleanliness of the body but also of the soul.

  • India has registered a sustained economic growth in the last few years. But it still faces a huge economic loss due to poor hygiene and sanitation. Inadequate sanitation poses serious issues for economic growth of the country by manifesting itself in the form of poor health, death, losses in education and overall productivity and well-being of its people. According to World Bank, India loses 6.4% of GDP annually because of this particular reason. Perceiving this, the Prime Minister launched Swachh Bharat Mission on 15th August 2014 and set a target to build clean and open defecation free India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as a befitting tribute.

  • While the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation was the core implementing Ministry, the mission components have now become everyone’s Business. Political will, public policy and people’s involvement has made Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a people’s movement. Swachhata Pakhwadas, rallies, awareness campaigns through village Panchayats, large scale construction of toilets, solid waste management, monitoring through swachh survekshan and star ratings for garbage free cities are gradually bringing about behavioural change.

  • Core ministries like Health and Women and Child Development are making all out efforts to address specific issues within their sectors. Initiatives like Kayakalp, VISHWAS- a village based initiative to synergise health, water and sanitation campaign, Bal Swachhata Mission, construction of toilets, provision of clean drinking water facilities in anganwadis and child care institutions have played a major role in taking this mission forward.


2. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – A People’s Movement

  • There has, in the past, been a general distrust of Government schemes. The principal reason for this is that either the benefits don’t reach the targeted or that the projected parameters are never achieved. However, there are schemes with a difference. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is arguably the most successful one.

  • “So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you-cannot make your towns and cities clean” – Mahatma Gandhi

  • Great efforts of India have presented a unique example before the world about how the nation can be enthused and inspired on the issue of social concern. Today, inspired from this program of India, many countries of the world are planning on this pattern to improve their sanitation conditions.



  • The hygiene in the utilization of the toilet is also a preventive healthcare scheme. Global experts believe that the SBM will have saved over three lakh lives in the country by the time we become ‘open-defecation free’ in 2019. Toilets in several parts of India have been named “Izzat Ghar”

  • Studies have revealed that in every house of an Open Defecation Free village, about Rs 50000 are being saved because the family is saving on the expenditure otherwise being incurred on treatment of various diseases.

  • According to a study by the World Health Organization with the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, every year we have successfully prevented a large number of children from becoming victims of deadly diseases in rural areas and the situation is continuously improving.

  • SBM will result in averting more than 300000 deaths between 2014 and October 2019.

  • A recent study by the Indore Municipal Corporation (Jagran, 2017) has found that vector-borne diseased have reduced by 40 per cent due to sanitation interventions under Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • In fact the number of patients affected by jaundice, cholera, vomiting, diarrhea, hepatitis and malaria in Indore have reduced a result, the scale of medicines across Indore has dropped which has contributed in controlling healthcare related costs in the city.

  • State of Chhattisgarh has reported a dramatic reduction in contamination and incidences of diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid etc., in the last two years.

  • There have been wide ranging benefits accruing from the Swachh Bharat Mission for example informal workers have been mainstreamed into the waste management chain across cities, thereby providing them with steady livelihoods.

  • Social entrepreneurship and innovations are on the rise with citizens an start-ups getting into this sector for converting waste into value added products (e.g. converting flower and temple waste into agarbattis, discarded tyres into household furniture, recycling solid waste into handicraft items, decoration products/sculptures, attractive cloth/jute bags to replace polythene products etc) producing innovative and cost effective equipment for Solid Waste Management, or creating business models in waste collection, recycling and recovery.


2.1. Women’s participation:

  • This ‘people’s movement’ has today transformed into a ‘women’s movement’ with rural women playing a leading role in the programme. We all knew that the dignity of women demanded the privacy of toilet. However, women of India are now stepping beyond their roles as mere beneficiaries of this programme to leaders of it today.

  • Women associated with Self Help Groups have made commendable contribution in the cleanliness movement. Environment related cleanliness by undertaking activities related to solid and liquid waste management have been promoted.

  • The Ambikapur follows a model of Solid Liquid Resource Management. The same model is being replicated across multiple cities in the country has provided jobs to thousands of Self Help Groups (SHGs) women members, with monthly earnings.

  • Women have been championing, the Swachh Bharat Mission like no other group. In the run up to International Women’s Day on 8th March, the Swachh Shakti was celebrated in both 2017 and 2018, with special events to honour women champions who have done exceptional work in the field of rural sanitation.

  • Swachh Jeevika Swachh Bihar is again a special campaign launched in July this year, to provide safe sanitation facilities at households of all Didis (members of women’s Self Help Groups). 10 lakh twin pits toilets have already been constructed led by the Jeevika sisters themselves.



  • Punjab is the first state to launch an ODF sustainability App under its ‘My Village My Pride’ campaign. The sustainability App is one of its kind developed to cover all parameters related to sanitation as well as sustainability.

  • My village, my pride campaign also features various competitions between villages – ODF awareness, Morning Nigrani, cleanliness drive, women mohallas, soak pit awareness and solid waste for top performing groups at district, block and state levels.


3. The Road To Swachh Bharat

  • For the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, one of the major Swachhata challenges has been the cleaning of River Ranga to restore its Aviralta and Nirmalta – its continuous and unpolluted flow.


Ganga has multiple sources of pollution:

  • The sewage treatment infrastructure in the many towns is inadequate, and in many cases defunct for want of proper maintenance. The problem will only get compounded as population grows in these towns, generating more waste.

  • There are untreated effluents from industrial sources, solid waste from the towns and villages along the river banks, agricultural waste, open defecation waste, and polluted tributaries and nallahs emptying into the river, all contributing to the load of pollutants.


Namami Gange Programme:

  • While earlier efforts to clean Ganga have not yielded much result, the recent government initiative, Namami Gange programme launched in 2015 has made good headway in this direction.

  • For the first time a separate ministry was made for Ganga Rejuvenation in 2014 and Namami Gange was approved as a flagship programme.

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga that is responsible for implementing the programme was declared as an Authority under Environment Protection Act 1986, giving it more powers in 2016, and State and District Ganga Committees were established in 2017.

  • The projects under the programme include sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, and rural sanitation.

  • The existing sewage treatment capacity will also be enhanced under the programme.

  • Comprehensive cleaning of the river requires infrastructure, systems and practices that can intercept pollutants from each of these sources regularly, and on a sustained basis. This calls for coordinated and concerted action from multiple agencies – central, state, private as well as the participation of people living along the river.


Innovation Models:

  • Innovative models in the sector like the Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) and One-City One-Operator concept where all new and existing STPs will be under charge of one private operator, ensuring better upkeep and maintenance, have been brought in.

  • Many private companies are also taking up projects to clean Ganga, renovate the ghats and crematoria or do afforestation along the banks under their CSR activities.

  • Many self-motivated individuals are also coming forward for afforestation, ghat cleaning and other such work. Known as Ganga Praharis, they motivate other people to help keep the river and its banks clean.


3.2. Swachhata in the Roads:

  • Swachhata is also a major priority in my two other ministries – Road Transport and Highways and Shipping.

  • The use of waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly mode of transport is being promoted.

  • Around 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways and will be developed for transport.

  • The ministries are also trying to promote the use of cleaner fuel like Ethanol, Methanol, Bio-Diesel, Bio CNG and electricity in the transport sector as alternatives to petrol and diesel.


Green Ports:

  • The Ministry of Shipping has also focussed on the setting up of ‘Green Ports’ for sustainable, environment-friendly and long term development of ports.

  • Recently Visakhapatnam Port Trust was adjudged as the winner in the category of Outstanding Renewable Energy User in the service sector in India by the Indian Federation of Green Energy.



STP Project in Mathura:

  • The STP project coming up Mathura is a unique one. It has been awarded on HAM mode under One-City One-Operator Concept.

  • The same private operator will build a new STP of 30 MLD capacity, upgrade three old STPs of 38 MLD capacity and be responsible for running and upkeep of all STPs.

  • The IOCL refinery at Mathura will reuse the waste water, buying it at a rate of Rs 8.70 per litre.

  • This will save 2 crore litres of Yamuna water that was being used by IOCL, and make it available for other usage.


PM receives UNEP Champions of the Earth Award:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the ‘UNEP Champions of the Earth’ award, the United Nations’ highest environmental honour.

  • The Prime Minister was selected in the leadership category for his pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and for his unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.

  • The annual ‘Champions of the Earth’ prize is awarded to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment.


4. Towards Clean And Healthy Villages

4.1. Taking rural India forward:

  • The Government is committed to all round development of rural areas. But this dream of development would remain unfulfilled without making rural India clean.

  • The quality of life of India’s rural poor will get a quantum jump with rural roads, rural electrification, rural Awas Yojana, toilets and a cooking gas connection with food grain provided at a modest cost. Additionally, when the Ayushman Bharat, which provides upto Rs 5 lakhs per family per year as hospitalisation expense, is fully implemented, this will change the quality of lie of India’s rural population.


Managing Waste Water

  • Management of the waste water is a big challenge for the whole world today. Whether it is rural area or urban, the lack of planning and infrastructure for waste water management leads to unclean life situations. It caused spread of disease and infections.

  • For waste water management in Telangana state, soakage pits are being constructed through MGNREGA at family and community level.

  • In the same way, in Nanded district of Maharashtra MGNREGA funds were utilized for making soakage pits which has helped to get rid of mosquitoes in the villages.

  • Construction of Lingpui water tank of Tlenguam R G Block in Aizawl district of Mizoram was started as an innovative experiment under MGNREGA. This water tank is built in the shape of an airplane along the road leading to the airport in Aizawl district.

  • Haryana Government has developed a five pond system in rural areas for stabilization of waste water under MGNREGA. The main objective is to ensure proper disposal of waste water in rural areas and to clean the environment of the village by ensuring better living conditions. Under MGNREGA scheme vermicomposting units are also being constructed.


Meeting Challenges through MGNREGA:

  • MGNREGA, the country’s most ambitious scheme being implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development, has understood importance and thousands of its success stories have proved that the citizens of our country have become aware of the importance of cleanliness in the village and they are resolving to make rural India clean and maintain cleanliness in the villages.

  • Panchayats are playing a critical role in the maintenance of clean environment by taking up activities like drainage channels, liquid bio fertilizer, recharge pits, school and aanganwadi toilets, soakage channels, village drains and stabilization ponds under the implementation of MGNREGA.

  • MGNREGA’s revolutionary initiative to make rural India clean and its effective implementation by the present government has started to show constructive results.

  • Habit to clean their villages, streets environment and surroundings, on a regular basis should be made an integral part of daily life, thereby contributing to the prosperity of rural life. Indeed, this will be their unique contribution to building of a new India.


5. Swachhata: Juggernaut Of Change

  • Both Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSD&E) have passionately supported the Swachh Bharat Mission and mobilized all resources towards fulfilling the vision of a Swachh and Swasth Bharat. Landmark policy changes and resolute initiatives have laid the foundation stones for a clean, green and healthy India.


5.1. Amenities in Petrol Pump:

  • A mission mode plan to provide clean toilets, clean drinking water and waste disposal facilities across all Oil Marketing Companies’ petrol pumps was launched under SBM.

  • The Swachhata@petrol pump app leverages technology putting consumers at the forefront to monitor, report and ensure cleanliness of the toilets at outlets across India on real time basis.


Making Cooking Women Friendly:

  • Exposure to the smoke produced by a firewood/coal/cow-dung burning choolha, apart from causing alarming household pollution and deforestation, also adversely affects the health of women and children causing several respiratory disorders. This also chains women to the chore of cooking depriving them of an opportunity to earn a livelihood and paralyzing their social equity.

  • Considering this the ministries have set out to bring a Blue Flame Revolution through.

  • Bolstered by the stories of transformation in the lives of women with the implementation of, PMUY a new target of 8 crore LPG connections by 2020 has been set.


Improving Fuel Efficiency:

  • As India accelerates its economic development, the increasing consumption of petroleum transport fuels is directly linked with atmospheric pollution.

  • In line with India’s climate change commitments at COP21 in Paris, the Central Government has taken several policy measures and interventions to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency.

  • Government has taken a bold decision to leapfrog from BS IV to BS VI fuel norms


Biofuel Policy:

  • With an objective of addressing both the environmental pollution from burning of agricultural waste and generating additional income for Indian farmers, the government approved the landmark National Policy on Biofuels in 2018.

  • Plans are afoot to set up twelve 2nd generation bio-refineries which will be capable of generating bio-ethanol from agricultural residue.

  • Great potential also lies in the employment of used cooking oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel which will not only augment fuel production, but also prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.


Swachhata in Tourist Locations:

  • Ten iconic places of historical and religious importance were identified and adopted by oil & gas CPSEs for upkeep and maintenance across the length and breadth of the country.

  • Some of the most innovative projects undertaken by oil & gas CPSEs include a Bandicoot robotic manhole cleaner installed by Indian Oil Corporation in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu which replaces manual scavenging.

  • An ONGC project installed eco-friendly incinerators at locations in Gujarat and Rajasthan for disposal of used sanitary parts benefitting thousands of rural women.

  • ONGC also provisioned 3 water ATMs and solar RO water purifiers at locations in Assam, Jharkhand and Tripura which are used by more than a lakh people.


6.Sanitation Revolution: Implementation At Scale

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission is setting an example for the rest of the world to move towards improving sanitation for all and achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 in mission mode and ensuring that behaviour change communication in all its forms is the only tool for sustainable change.

  • The Darwaza Band campaign, starring Bollywood icons Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, moved beyond access to toilets and communicated the need to use toilets, not just by women and children, but by each and every member of the household.

  • The media buzz caught on with popular culture as was with the release of Toilet Ek Prem Katha, a blockbuster film starring Akshay Kumar, which gave a holistic picture of the troubles, obstacles faced mainly by women, and the eventual achievement of safe sanitation practices in the community.


6.1. Sustainability:

  • With the sanitation revolution gaining momentum, the SBM also maintained its parallel focus on sustaining the jan andolan and the progress being made on the ground.

  • The following were key elements of the sustainability strategy:

  • ODF-Quality (ODF-Q): requires every toilet constructed under the Mission to be geo-tagged.

  • •             ODF-Sustainability (ODF-S): Ensures continuous behaviour change communication, to remain much after the achievement of ODF.

  • •             ODF plus (ODF+): SBM goes beyond toilets and works towards clean villages by prioritizing solid and liquid waste management practices in ODF villages, as well as the prioritization on rural water supply for ODF villages, in coordination with the National Rural Drinking Water Programme.

  • TID- BITS:

  • SATAT initiative to promote Compressed Bio-Gas as an Alternative, Green Transport Fuel:

  • An innovative initiative – SATAT – to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make available CBG in the market for use in automotive fuels was launched recently by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, with PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) inviting Expression of Interest (Eol) from potential entrepreneurs.

  • Besides the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, the CBG plants will provide an additional revenue source to farmers, and 75,000 direct job opportunities and lakhs of indirect jobs.

  • SATAT is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.

  • This initiative holds great promise for efficient municipal solid waste management and in tackling the problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emission.


7. Community Platforms

7.1. Improving Cleanliness of Health Care Facilities

  • The diverse interventions undertaken by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) are making a decisive impact at the level of health facilities, and they have also built a supporting and enabling environment at the community level for achieving the goals of sanitation and hygiene behaviour change, well beyond the existing programmes.

  • MoHFW’s Kayakalp initiative began in 2015 with the aim of improving infrastructure upkeep, hygiene and sanitation, and infection control practise in Central Government institutions and public health facilities in all 36 States and UTs.

  • Health facilities are assessed and scored on a number of parameters, and every year the highest-scoring facilities at each level receive recognition though kayakalp Awards that carry a cash award, apart from citation.

  • The Kayakalp scheme has resulted in significant improvement in the level of the cleanliness, hygiene and infection control practices at public healthcare facilities, and has inculcated a culture of ongoing assessment and peer review to promote hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation.

  • Encouraged by the achievements of Kayakalp Scheme, the private sector has come forward and joined the efforts of the Government.

  • National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) has decided to consider assessment of healthcare facilities in the private sector on the lines of parameters of Kayakalp.

  • Additionally, MoHFW has used the platforms of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNCs) under the National Health Mission and Mahila Arogya Samitis (MAS) under the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) to promote sanitation in the vulnerable urban communities.


7.1. VISHWAS-A New Initiative

  • In 2017, as a part of its efforts to expand and strengthen sanitation and hygiene interventions, NHM has launched a new campaign VISHWAS – Village based Initiative to Synergise Health, Water and Sanitation – a yearlong campaign to be carried out by VHSNCs to build community awareness and develop local champions for action on water sanitation and health, and create a platform for building synergies between various programmes, such as the Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • The key strategies adopted under these initiatives are detailed in the following sections:

  • Kayakalp initiative for health Facilities: The programme aims at inculcating in public health facilities, a culture of regular assessment and peer review of performance related to hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation, and creating and sharing sustainable practices related to improved cleanliness and their linkages to positive health out comes

  • Impact of Kayakalp Programme: The program has also built a culture of ongoing assessment and peer review of the performance to promote hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation. It has also provided opportunities and incentives to bolster inter sectoral coordination for the improvement of health systems.


7.2. Swachh Swasth Sarvatra:

  • Swachh Swasth Sarvatra is a joint initiative of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to achieve better health outcomes through improved sanitation and increase awareness on healthy lifestyles. Its objectives are to have more synergy between two complementary programmes – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Kayakalp.


Three broad objectives of this scheme are:

  • Enabling Gram Panchayat where Kayakalp awarded PHCs is located to become Open Defecation Free (ODF)

  • Strengthening Community Health Centre (CHC) in ODF blocks to achieve a high level of cleanliness to meet Kayakalp standards through a support of Rs 10 lakhs under NHM

  • Build capacity through training in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to nominees from such CHCs and PHCs


Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNCs):

  • National Rural Health Mission, since its inception in 2005, created Village Health Sanitation Committees (VHSCs) across all states, as the ‘platform for community action on health’ clearly highlighting the key role of mobilising communities in improving sanitation and achieving health outcomes.


Mahila Arogya Samitis (MAS) under NUHM:

  • Under National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) also, equal emphasis is placed on sanitation and hygiene interventions. Similar to VHSNCs, Mahila Arogya Samiti (MAS) has been established in urban areas under NUHM. MAS are groups of about 12 to 20 women in an urban area in community of primarily poor and vulnerable sections.


VISHWAS (Village based Initiative to Synergise, Health, Water and Sanitation) Campaign:

  • Under VISHWAS, yearlong campaign is to be carried out by each VHSNC in its area, with focus on building awareness and social mobilization, developing community champions for action on water sanitation and health, and creating a platform for building synergies between various government programmes.


8. A Hygienic Environment For Mother And Child

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are the three core issues which are grouped together to represent a growing sector. While each is a separate field of work, each is dependent on the presence of the other.

  • Child care institutions and Anganwadis are considered as the centres in rural India where mothers and children converse almost every day and thus, these have turned into nodal units to spread awareness of Swachhata and disseminate the message of sanitation.

  • Thus, hygiene drives regarding menstruation and distribution of menstrual hygiene products are carried out here as rural women have been suffering from menstrual unhygienic practices since a long time.

  • Shramdaan is an innovative action taken by the Ministry for offering voluntary Swachhata activities starting from the level of Minister to the Anganwadi workers in their homes, surroundings and offices.

  • Ministry’s officials are including, inviting and encouraging co-workers and members of general public for Shramdaan.

  • The Ministry has also initiated POSHAN Abhiyan to reduce the problem of poor nutrition among children by synthesizing, generating and mobilizing nutritional resources.



  • Poverty and malnutrition exacerbate the risk of infants and children to various infectious diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, and heighten the probability of death, particularly among children with low birth weight.

  • Demographic and epidemiological studies have documented that poor economic status of household, low female literacy, poor nutritional status of mother, child marriage, large family size, low autonomy of women, and inadequate access to health care services typically lead to disproportionately higher risk for the health status of mothers and their children.

  • Studies have also documented large socioeconomic and interstate disparities in the maternal and child health status. It is widely realized that the practice of open defecation is the main reason as to why India reports highest diarrhoea death among children below 5 in India.

  • India displays a unique cultural pluralism wherein people of different culture and ideologies co-exist in harmony and peace. There are different myths and legends in every culture, in every part of the Indian society. Most of the norms are either against women or for women. Thus women and at the same time the female child becomes the victim. Thus, in India, it is a challenge indeed to implement the policy measures in a true sense.


9. Sanitation Revolution: Cleansing Urban India

  • Swachh Survekshan a Tool for Mission Monitoring and Governance:

  • Under the SBM Urban, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has been conducting the Swachh Survekshan – an annual survey to rank cities on various sanitation and cleanliness parameters. The survey has been successful in enthusing cities with a spirit of healthy competition towards the concept of ‘swachhata’, while also emerging as an effective Mission monitoring and governance tool.

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019, which focuses on innovation sustainability, citizen engagement, garbage-free status etc., will be conducted across all towns and cities in January 2019.


9.1. Star Rating for Garbage Cities:

  • The Ministry has introduced a new innovative initiative for evaluating the Garbage Free status of Cities and awarding the “Garbage Free City Stars” to the city.

  • The Star Rating initiative, which is a rating protocol based on twelve (12) parameters, follows a SMART framework – Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification mechanism and Targeted towards outcomes – and has been devised in a holistic manner covering all aspects of Solid Waste Management viz. Public Cleanliness, Door to Door collection, source segregation, processing, cleanliness of drains and water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction and demolition waste, etc. which are critical drivers for achieving garbage free cities.

  • In fact, as more and more cities get certified as ‘stars’ and ‘citizens’ aspirations grow around cleanliness and higher standards of liveability, it may well emerge as a key differentiator in the administrative political fabric of the country, where ‘number of stars’ for their city can be one of the parameter for evaluating effectiveness of administration and elected representatives in achieving Swachhata.



  • Today the concepts of cleanliness and swachhata have come to embody the spirit of empowerment and quality of life. Investments in sanitation and garbage free cities can significantly impact our lives and the larger environment – by providing a better quality of life for all, especially the economically weaker sections, ensuring dignity and safety of women and children, positively impacting health outcomes through reduction in vector-borne diseases, providing enhanced livelihood opportunities and greater earning potential for rag pickers and other informal sectors, opening up entrepreneurial opportunities in the waste management sector, and improving tourism potential and resultant foreign exchange inflow, thus positively impacting the GDP of the country and contributing to a cleaner environment. A Swachh environment will lead to a ‘Swasth, Swastha, Samarth, and Samriddh’ Bharat and pave the way for New India – 2022



Success Stories from States and Cities:

  • Chhatisgarh is on its way to becoming a Zero Landfill state through the Zero Waste Model being replicated in tis cities. Ambikapur in Chhatisgarh has no open dumping yards, segregating over 90 per cent of its waste and generating Rs 13 lakh every month through their innovative Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLRM) approach.

  • Kerala has been leading the way in decentralized waste management with most of the its cities having installed pipe and bio gas plants at the household level. In fact, Alappuzha in Kerala is among the top five cities in the world recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its efforts to tackle the problem of solid waste.

  • Goa has proven how waste can be an asset through its source segregation into 5 fractions. The city claims 100 per cent door to door collection. Most residential societies have composting units and kitchen gardens in place for utilizing the compost produced.

  • 100 per cent of waste in Gangtok is being segregated at sources and being processed

  • Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur in MP are practicing 100 per cent source segregation

  • Navi Mumbai is already segregating 88 per cent of its MSW at source

  • Bengaluru has an innovative online portal to support all Bulk Waste generator to comply with SWM rules

  • Nagpur has introduced an innovative watch which helps the ULB to monitor attendance of sanitary workers through geo-tagging of their locations during their working hours

  • Aligarh has introduced ‘magic bricks’ made out of dry waste which can be used in construction activities

  • Sasavad in Maharashtra uses an innovative colour coding of households (red, yellow, green) to denote households that do not segregate their waste, segregate occasionally, and regularly segregate respectively

  • Jharkhand uses a similar approach of colour coding for households that are practicing / not practicing open defecation (e.g. green colour for households that are ODF, yellow for households that have toilets but resort to OD sometimes, red for households that practice OD regularly)


Some Inspiring Stories of Citizen Participation:

  • A doctor couple from Chalapalli district have been undertaking cleanliness drives in their surroundings every day of the year

  • Monks of Ramakrishna Mission in Karnataka hold regular cleaning drivers along with citizen volunteers to keep roads and localities clean

  • Wing Commander Paramvir Singh, along with three swimmers and six raft-men, undertook a ‘Ganga Avahan’. Swimming a length of 2800 km along River Ganga, from Devprayag (Uttarakhand) to Ganga Sagar (West Bengal), to spread awareness about the Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Three enterprising ladies from Maharashtra – Suvarna Lokhande from Sinnar – Nasik district, Sangeeta Awhale from Saikheda-Washim district, and Chiatali Rathod from Mozar – district Yavatmal – had taken the initiative of building toilets for their families, for their personal and their families self-esteem

  • While Suvarna took a loan from “Bachat Gat” (Self-help Group) for building the toilet, Sangeeta sold her mangalsutra to fund the toilet, and Chaitali asked for a toilet at her in-laws’ place instead of any other items from her parents during her marriage

  • KOSHISH, a Durg-based group of individuals of all ages cleans the parks near their community every morning for the use of senior citizens

  • The Sant Nirankari Mandal regularly conducts several cleanliness drives around roads, streets, parks, heritage sites, water bodies and railway stations

  • Agra-based organization India Rising carries out weekly cleaning drives with citizen volunteers across multiple locations in the city


10. Sanitation As Everyone’s Business

  • Political will, public policy, Investments, Partnership – all must come together to create an enabling environment that would be powered by people’s participation to deliver the final assault on decades of lack of sanitation and neglect of hygiene. Countries like Lesotho, Korea and Malaysia stand as brilliant examples of what could be achieved.


Swachhata Action Plan (SAP):

  • SAP was launched on 1st April 2017.

  • Under this, ministries and departments mainstream sanitation in their mandates through budgeted and accountable action plans. It is very encouraging that all ministries/department have committed funds for sanitation during each of the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-2019.

  • A compendium was created for each year, listing out he Swachhata activities proposed by each Ministry/Department against the funds that they have allocated for the financial year. SAP performance is reviewed every quarter by a Committee of Secretaries.


Swachhata Pakhwada (SP):

  • Under this, 4-5 Ministries are given 15 days in a year following a pre-decided calendar to carry out country wide initiatives within their jurisdiction to enhance sanitation during these 15 days, the concerned Ministry is deemed to be a Swachh Bharat Ministry.

  • Pakhwada performance is reported and monitored at the highest levels.


Ganga Grams:

  • Ganga Gram is another inter-ministry project between SBM and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

  • The Project is focused on better cleanliness and infrastructure facilities in villages on the banks of river Ganga.

  • Through convergence with other departments concerned State Governments identified 24 Ganga villages to be taken up as a pilot project to transform them into Ganga Grams that would have Open Defection Free (ODF) status, Renovation of Ponds and Water Sources, Promotion of Sprinkler Irrigation, Promotion of Tourism, Modern Crematorium Infrastructure, Convergence of Central and State Schemes, Proper Disposal of Waste Water, Proper Disposal of Solid Waste, Water Conservation Projects, Organic Farming, Horticulture and Medicinal Plants.


Students and Youth to the Fore:

  • Through their daily activities in school and neighbourhood and special occasions like Swachhata Olympies, Swachh Polls and rallies, students and youth are the biggest messengers of this Mission.

  • A special ‘Swachh Bharat Summer Internship’ programme was developed for college students and youth to devote at least 100 hours to Swachhata during summer.

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports conducted this programme.

  • A large number of villages in the country witnessed enthusiastic groups of Swachhata Interns joining the local community and cleaning up the hinterland.


Corporate Partnership:

  • To facilitate financial contributions from individuals and corporates, Swachh Bharat Kosh was set up which these resources are being used for lifting sanitation parameters in identified areas.


Support from Media:

  • The Media has also taken upon itself to sensitise the people about the ill effects of poor sanitation and is playing a significant role in influencing behaviour change.


Swachhata Ambassadors:

  • There are celebrities from Bollywood, sports and other walks of life who have spared time and energy to promote the message of sanitation.

  • A number of Audio – Visual Campaigns featuring these icons with messages of toilet usage have caught the popular imagination.

  • A range of feature films (like Toilet EK Prem Katha, Padman, Halka and Gutar Gu) have been produced in recent times that promote the message of sanitation.


Business of People:

  • The beautiful phrase ‘jan andolan’ now resonates in the context of Swachh Bharat work.

  • Millions have come together under special campaigns like Swachhata Hi Seva (2017 and 2018), Chalo Champaran, ODF Weeks and for nights and many more for adoption of sustainable sanitation Celebrities, officials, and common people alike have undertaken shramdaan and demonstration activities like pit digging, pit emptying etc to remove the misplaced stigma appended to sanitation.

  • Faith leaders across faiths have come out in support of Swachh Bharat motivating their followers.

  • Everyone needs to put a brick for sustainable sanitation within their own spheres of influence.



  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has developed a swachhta@petrolpump app to monitor and improve cleanliness levels at petrol pumps and service stations.

  • Department of School Education and Literacy has achieved 100% gender segregated toilets in all schools.

  • Ministry of Civil Aviation, power and Rural Development has successfully implemented water conservation, Bio-Fuel Waste Recycling and Waste to Energy initiatives.

  • Ministry of Railways is committed to set bio-digester toilets by October 2019.

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has implemented 5S (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) in Health facilities and is coordinating with MDWS in implementing Swachh Swasth Sarvatra.


11.Sanitation: A Purification Process

  • Gandhiji introduced personal hygiene, village and town sanitation as a constructive programme. Removal of untouchability was both a constructive programme and one of the eleven vows that each Satyagrahi had to follow.


11.1. Gandhiji’s Idea of Swachh Hindustan:

  • There is considerably more to Gandhiji’s idea of a Swachh Hindustan than building toilets and making it free from open defecation free, although it is the first and very important step.

  • Gandhiji wanted to see Hindustan Swachh – clean and cleansed, body and soul.

  • He felt deeply hurt the way we all treated communities who were condemned to handle filth and human excreta.

  • He also realised that Indians had, over time, developed a very unscientific attitude towards sanitation and hygiene.

  • It was this attitude that was responsible for creating a class of people who were to handle filth and faeces. This class was then condemned to live outside the main settlement in poverty and destitution and most inhuman physical and mental conditions.

  • Gandhiji picked up the broomstick and involved one and all in cleaning up house, ashram, neighbourhood, street and toilets.

  • When he gave the call to improve sanitation and hygiene, he also had a firm agenda of integrating the condemned communities with all as equals without bias, prejudice and contempt.

  • The broomstick – Jhaadoo was not just a symbol of physical cleanliness alone. He established Jhaadoo as a symbol of Antyodaya.

  • He clearly led and advised on the journey of welfare from Antyodaya to Sarvodaya. Cleaning and cleansing were not limited to body and environs only.


Sanitation and Hygiene in South Africa:

  • The main objectives of Gandhiji were to win, for Indian communities such locations in the towns and cities in South Africa that would be amenable to good sanitation and hygiene. Gandhiji strategically worked with the Indian community for improvement of sanitation practices at one level. Then he took up the matter with the civic authorities and went on insisting for improving the physical infrastructure and its maintenance. He then addressed the state government and the office of Secretaries of the Colonies in Africa and India to raise the issue of neglect on part of the civic authorities. Gandhiji stands out as a unique personality in public life who demonstrated and promoted the cause of private and public sanitation.


11.2. Insanitation in India:

  • Back from South Africa, Gandhiji travelled the length and breadth of India. He witnessed and experienced insanitation, lack of cleanliness, unhygienic environment, dirt and filth throughout the country. He and his group first stayed in Tagore’s Shantiniketan where Gandhiji found that the Brahmin cooks practised purity and pollution principles but maintained very unhygienic habits. Sanitation arrangements were bad. Gandhiji had decided to travel with the common people in the third class in railways and as a deck passenger on ships. On his deck travel, he noted ‘What was unbearably dirty and the latrines were stinking sinks.


Sanitation in Indian Cities:

  • During his visit to Hardwar and Hrishikesh, he noted that people dirtied the roads and the fair banks of Ganges. They did not even hesitate to desecrate the sacred water of the Ganges. It filled him with agony to see people performing natural functions on the thorough fares and river banks. It was no different in Vrindavan in Mathura, Vishwanath temple in Benares, and Dakor in Gujarat.

  • In educational institutions and public events such as conferences, Gandhiji for the first time brought up the issue of sanitation and hygiene. After Gandhiji’s arrival in India, in every event that he attended, sanitation committee was first to be organised in which all attending leaders had to volunteer in day to day cleaning activities including cleaning of temporary toilets.


Turning the Searchlight Inward:

  • Cleaning self and environment for Gandhiji was the first step in the act of self-purification. The second and most important part of self-purification was-giving up ages-old prejudices against the Dalits who were the silent and suffering sanitation workers in the society. Gandhiji wanted that every caste Hindu should first realise the gross injustice that was meted out to Dalits across the centuries. The second stage was its admission and sense of remorse. Finally, he wanted that each one of Caste Hindus worked for reparation i.e., removing untouchability and helping improve their welfare.

Yojana November 2018

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