Open Defecation Continues Unbated
05, Jan 2019
Prelims level : Government schemes and policies Mains level : GS 2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
- New research on the impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the rural parts of four northern States shows that while open defecation has fallen and toilet ownership has increased, the percentage of people who owned toilets but continued to defecate in the open has remained unchanged between 2014 and 2018.
- This indicates that the Mission has been more successful at toilet construction than at driving behaviour change.
- The 2014 survey took place before the launch of the government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission which aims to eliminate open defecation across the country by October 2, 2019.
- According to the Mission, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are already open defecation free or ODF states. Bihar has achieved 98.97% coverage of toilets for every household, while Uttar Pradesh has achieved 100%, according to government data, although the state has yet to be declared ODF.
- The working paper confirms that the Mission has driven toilet construction, although its findings are more modest than government claims.
- Almost 60% of households covered by the survey which did not have a toilet in 2014 had one by 2018, said the study.
- One major statistic, however, has remained unchanged since 2014: the fraction of people who own a toilet, but who nevertheless defecate in the open remains at about 23%.
About Swachh Bharat Mission:
- It is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, and rural areas.
- The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use
- The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“gramin” or ‘rural’), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (‘urban’), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) have the following objectives:
- Eliminate open defecation,
- Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets,
- Eradication of manual scavenging,
- 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal reuse/recycle of Municipal Solid Waste,
- To bring about a behavioural change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices,
- Generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
- Strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems,
- To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) has the following objectives:
- Bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas.
- Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2019 with all Gram Panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status.
- Encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
- Motivate communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions promoting sustainable sanitation facilities through awareness creation and health education.
- Develop community managed environmental sanitation systems focusing on solid & liquid waste management for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.