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Why in News?

  • The Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention is being organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, also coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Fifty-three Ministers of Sanitation from around the world and more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries are participating in the convention. The international conference brings together Sanitation Ministers and other leaders in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) from around the world.

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention:

  • The President has inaugurated the MGISC organised by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry to mark the beginning of the 150thbirth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The MGISC is a four-day convention which includes more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries.
  • It aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries.

Reality Check on ODF status:

  • India is close to becoming open defecation free.
  •  The rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 94.44% as of 30 September 2018.
  •  Nearly 86.5 million household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
  •  25 States/Union Territories, 509 districts, and 500,000 villages have declared themselves free from open defecation.
  •  The number of people practicing open defecation in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014, to less than 150 million till date.
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