A nationwide campaign, The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India Movement), was launched on 2nd October, 2014 by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. One of the most hyped schemes of the government, the movement’s primary objective was to make India Open Defecation Free (ODF) with the construction of 12 crore toilets in the rural and urban households. It further aimed at cleaning the streets, roads and infrastructures of the country’s villages, cities and towns.
But the question is how far the mission has been successful. The government on the basis of the construction of toilets has declared 28 states and Union Territories as ODF. But surveys made by independent organisations show that open defecation still going on in the areas which the government has declared to be ODF. The movement has been a challenge for Modi as he is not simply trying to stop people from urinating and defecating in the open, but making effort to change the deep social and cultural habits. He tried motivating people to keep the environment around them clean by sweeping rubbish with a broom in Delhi. In his Mann Ki Baat (a radio broadcast) he asked people to take a pledge to remove dirt from their lives.
But contrary to the government reports, most of the toilets remain partially constructed, without proper equipments and water facility. Moreover, the people irrespective of caste, class and levels of education are concerned more to keep their homes clean and are least bothered to litter in the streets and public areas. Thus, it is only when the people become sensitive towards both personal and social hygiene and the municipal corporation’s decision making capacity improves, the mission would be fulfilled in the true sense.
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