With the aim of improving the sanitation coverage and making India open-defecation free by 2019, Modi government had launched the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. To make this mission a huge success, India mobilized huge resources for education, information and communication activities.
Now, PM Modi will be honoured with the “Global Goalkeeper Award” by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for his commitment to improve sanitation access across the country.
Modi will be presented this prestigious award as a “special recognition” that celebrates a leader who has “demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country”
The foundation is said to host the annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award on September 24.
During his visit, he will also be addressing the global leaders and corporate executives at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum.
He will be inaugurating the ‘Gandhi Peace Garden’, an initiative to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
On the contrary, a few Indian secularists, Pakistanis and activists have opposed the move of presenting the prestigious award to PM Modi. But, the foundation has defended its move stating that “The Swacch Bharat Mission can serve as a model for other countries around the world that urgently need to improve access to sanitation for the world’s poorest”
“Before the Swacch Bharat mission, over 500 million people in India did not have access to safe sanitation and now majority do. There is still long way to go, but the impacts of access to sanitation in India are already being realized,” It added
The Swacch Bharat Mission
Nearly half a billion Indians have quit defecating in the open since its launch in October 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had nominated the name of nine famous personalities from business industries, sports and Bollywood to take part in the Swacch Bharat Mission.
Main objectives of the mission
- Construction of toilets in every household of the country.
- Eradicate open defecation in India, especially in rural areas.
- Public awareness programs regarding cleanliness in rural areas.
- Setup a network of pipelines in rural areas.
- Provide separate toilets for boys and girls in schools.
A survey conducted by a verification agency under World Bank supervision found that 90.4% of villages are open defecation-free, 93.1% of rural households have access to toilets, and 96.5% of them use toilets. It is also said that India has turned cleaner over the past 5 years and thousands of lives has been saved by the cleanliness drive.
Many states including Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala and Sikkim have already declared themselves to be Open Defecation Free.
The mission has also been recognized by various global institutions such as WHO and Unicef.
Although the problems such as availability of water still persist, women now feel much safer to have their own toilets at home.
Apart from the disease prevention factor, the mission also led to notable economic development of the country. Tourism generates over 6.5 percent India’s total GDP and the problem faced by the government while promoting tourism was cleanliness.
Surveys were also conducted to know the impact of Swacch Bharat mission and the results are praiseworthy
- Around 50 Lakh household toilets have been constructed in the country.
- 1 million users of the ‘Swacchta App’ have been recorded and numerous complaints received through the app has been resolved.
- 18 percent of people stated that public toilets in their city have been improved after the mission.
- 22 percent of people believe that municipalities have become more responsive to complaints regarding garbage collection.
- 32 percent people believe that the mission has made students more responsible and aware of cleanliness.
Altogether, Swacch Bharat Mission is one of the most productive steps taken by the Modi government. Despite the best efforts of the pseudo seculars to criticize the move, the Swacch Bharat Mission is receiving positive response from all over the world.