January 5: Government of India has initiated number of projects under “Swachha Bharat Mission” in past few years. A latest addition to the project is a month-long campaign, “Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya” that commenced on 1st January, launched by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The aim behind the campaign is to promote ownership and sustained usage of toilets and also provide a facelift to the crores of toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
India has been facing the problem of sanitation due to lack of use of toilets in the rural parts of the country for many years. The Government of India has been taking initiatives to spread awareness regarding the issue. This campaign is one more innovative step by the Government to reinforce Swachh Bharat as a “Jan Andolan” as envisaged by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The campaign comprises a unique Contest, under which, households are being mobilised to paint and decorate their toilets. It will be spearheaded by Gram Panchayats and coordinated by district administrations.
The campaign will involve rural communities in the 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country. Individual households, Gram Panchayats and Districts will be awarded on the basis of number of toilets painted and the quality and creativity of their work. Best 5 photographs of painted toilets will be uploaded on the Government website from each district. Also, individual households will be awarded on innovative painting.
The campaign has been rolled out across rural India and the Ministry is monitoring the progress through a specially designed portal. Through the month, each household owner shall be motivated to beautify their toilets by freshly painting and decorating it creatively, including Swachh Bharat logos and safe sanitation messaging.
The sanitation coverage in rural India has already crossed 98%, with over 9 cr toilets built under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) since its launch. Access to toilets is an important step towards the adoption of safe sanitation practices and an Open Defecation Free (ODF) nation. “Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya” is being seen as a strong move towards quality and sustainability in the mode of people’s participation in Rural India.