Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Stats related to SBM- Grameen
Mains level: The stats mentioned in the newscard highlights the success of SBM in rural India.
- The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) recently launched the 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, as the Mission enters its fifth and final year of implementation.
- The SBM has transformed into a massive Jan Andolan.
- However, some recent reports have sought to undermine the progress made by the SBM on the ground, with incorrect claims.
- In this regard, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation presents the following clarifications highlighting the success of the mission.
Imbibing Behaviour Change
- The SBM has shown tremendous progress these last 4 years leading to massive behaviour change campaign and people’s movement underway on the ground.
- Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% today.
- Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
- As a result, 25 States/Union Territories, 529 districts, and 5,09,067 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.
Flagged by World Bank
- The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it.
- It confirmed that behaviour change is happening on the ground.
- The survey covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States and UTs in India.
- The Swachh Bharat Mission is the world’s largest public funded sanitation program.
- Between the Centre and State, over Rs. 1 lakh crore would have been allocated for the Mission in 2019.
- In addition to the budget allocation of ₹15,000 crore this year (FY 2018-2019), ₹15,000 crore has been further allocated through Extra Budgetary Resources.
- Behaviour Change Communication is undertaken under the SBM at the ground level and is complemented with mass media at the national level as well.
- For example, mass media campaigns such as Darwaza Band communicates the messages of women empowerment, promotion of twin pit toilets and usage of toilets.
- While the SBM foot soldiers, Swachhagrahis, participate in the triggering of communities for behaviour change and sustaining improved behaviors through Inter-Personal Communication.
- There are currently over 5 lakh Swachhagrahis across the country undertaking behaviour change interventions at the grassroots.
Water for ODF
- A policy decision has been taken under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to prioritize the provision of piped water supply (PWS) for villages that become ODF.
- Of the 5 lakh plus ODF villages, translating to 14.13 lakh habitations, 6.16 habitations have PWS through public stand posts. The remaining are being covered on priority.
- At a technical level, the SBM promotes the use of the rural pan, a steep slope pan, which requires no more than 1-1.5 liters of water for every use of the toilet, addressing challenges related to scarcity of water.
- A strong parallel focus is being maintained on the quality of the work on the ground and sustaining progress much after the program reaches its goal in 2019.
- Verification of all ODF declared villages is very unique to SBM as multiple rounds of verification are carried out for the village by the districts and States.
- Within 90 days of declaration, verification is done for each household in the village.
- Another round of sustainability verification is done 180 days after the first round.
Impact of SBM
- A recent WHO study reports that SBM would have led to saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter.
- In a report titled ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’ UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has released a study that shows significant improvements in diarrhoea prevalence and stunting among children in ODF villages, compared to nearby non-ODF villages.
- The Swachh Bharat model of sanitation has led India into a sanitation revolution, and the country is on track for an ODF India by October 2019.