Swachhata to target open urination too

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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: Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: Behaviour Change is the prime mover of SBM. Sanitation Infrastructure alone will not work unless behaviour change is imbibed in the implementation of SBM.


News

Imbibing Behaviour Change

  1. Under new norms, cities and towns wanting to be declared ODF+ (Open Defecation Free Plus) must also be free of public urination and not just open defecation.
  2. This is the first time that the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) is officially including the elimination of public urination in its agenda.
  3. The rural division of SBM had previously said preventing public urination was not on their agenda.
  4. The Mission is focussed on infrastructure and regulatory changes, on the assumption that this will lead to behaviour change.

Open Defecation Free Protocol

  1. The ODF+ and ODF++ protocols, which were released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are the next step for the SBM-U and aim to ensure sustainability in sanitation outcomes.
  2. The original ODF protocol is notified as ODF city/ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
  3. The new ODF+ protocol says that a city, ward or work circle could be declared ODF+ if at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well-maintained.
  4. The ODF++ protocol adds the condition that “faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.

Open Urination- A major problem

  1. Urination has always been implied as part of the ODF agenda, that’s why there is a subsidy for urinals, not just toilets.
  2. The third-party verification of ODF areas, being carried out by the Quality Council of India, has not so far checked for public urination.
  3. It is currently impractical to include urination.
  4. Public urination, especially by men, is almost entirely a behaviour change issue. Even men who have access to toilets use the roads as a public urinal.
  5. They are forced to do it because of the lack of cleanliness, accessibility and visibility.
  6. The ODF+ protocol lays down 20 specific conditions across cleanliness, support infrastructure, accessibility and operations and maintenance.

“Toilet Near Me”

  1. The Mission is also pushing forward in its drive to get public toilets listed on Google Maps.
  2. A search for toilets nearby will now display the location of public toilets in over 700 cities, and allow users to rate and review them.
  3. If people can easily find a public toilet, they will not use the road.

Way Forward: Monitoring Behaviour Change

  1. The SBM-U does have a 10% budget for IEC activities (Information, Education and Communication) using both digital media and on-field activities such as street dramas.
  2. The SBM is not depending on awareness activities for behaviour change.
  3. In urban areas, behaviour change is automatically guaranteed if there is proper access.
  4. The Mission’s monitoring of behaviour change is currently limited to the Swachh Survekshan surveys which include physical observation and citizen feedback.
  5. A national sample-based survey is also being planned for urban areas.
Swachh Bharat Mission
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