On the Road to Swachh Bharat
- When the Prime Minister gave a call for Swachh Bharat on October 2, 2014, the sanitation infrastructure in the country was inadequate, millions of people defecated in the open, effective waste management was an almost alien concept and maintaining cleanliness occupied little or no priority in society.
- The government has worked towards creating sanitation infrastructure like toilets and waste management facilities and running sustained awareness campaigns to motivate people to adopt cleanliness as a way of life.
Cleaning River Ganga
- For the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, one of the major Swachhata challenges has been the cleaning of River Ganga to restore its Aviralta and Nirmalta – its continuous and unpolluted flow.
- Ganga has multiple sources of pollution. About 2953 million litres of sewage generated by 97 towns along the banks enter the river untreated every day.
- The sewage treatment infrastructure in these towns in inadequate, and in many cases defunct and are in need of proper maintenance.
- The problem will only get compounded as population grows in these towns, generating more waste.
- Then there are untreated effluents from industrial sources, solid waste from the towns and villages along the river banks, agricultural waste, open defecation waste, and polluted tributaries and nallahs emptying into the river all contributing to the load of pollutants.
- Comprehensive cleaning of the river requires infrastructure, systems and practices on a sustained basis. This calls for coordinated and concerted action from central, state, private as well as the participation of people living along the river.
- Namami Gange programme launched in 2015 has made good headway to clean Ganga.
- For the first time a separate ministry was made for Ganga Rejuvenation in 2014.
- Innovative models like the Hybrid Annuity Model and one-city one-operator concept where all new and existing Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) will be under charge of one private operator, ensuring better upkeep and maintenance.
- Many private companies are also taking up projects to clean Ganga, renovate the ghats and crematoria or do afforestation along the banks under their CSR activities.
- Many self-motivated individuals are also coming forward for cleaning and other such works. Known as Ganga Praharis they motivate other people to help keep the river and its banks clean.
Swachhata in the Roads
- The government is promoting the use of waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly mode of transport. Around 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways and will be developed for transport.
- The government is also trying to promote the use of cleaner fuel like Ethanol, Methanol, Bio-Diesel, Bio CNG and electricity in the transport sector as alternatives to petrol and diesel.
- Road ministry is also trying for generation of less waste during road building and using waste material like fly ash, plastic, oil slag and municipal waste for construction of highways.
Towards Clean and Healthy Villages
- Our country lives in villages and only when the villages are developed the holistic and inclusive development of the country is possible. If the villages are not clean then the development of the villages will remain incomplete.
- An initiative that has made marked contribution in changing the quality of life of rural people is the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- The objective is to make human life cleaner, healthier and dignified.
- On October 2, 2014 the sanitation coverage was 38.70% and currently it is 93.90%. Such a huge progress has not been seen anywhere in the world in the field of hygiene and cleanliness.
Importance of Cleanliness
- Cleanliness is not only about a life-force but also the cornerstone of human development. No community and society can be successful till it is clean.
- The goals related to education, health, poverty alleviation, human development etc. cannot be achieved in the absence of cleanliness. Cleanliness also contributes significantly in the economic development of the nation.
Transforming the Destiny of our Villages
- Swachh Bharat has transformed the face and destiny of the village today. Studies have revealed that in every house of an Open Defecation Free village, about Rs. 50000 are being saved because the family is saving on the expenditure otherwise being incurred on treatment of various diseases.
- The rural families are utilising this savings to acquire new amenities and facilities to provide better education to the children, and to improve their standard of living.
- According to the study by the WHO, with the implementation of SBM, every year we have prevented a large number of children from becoming victims of deadly diseases in rural areas.
- Women associated with SHGs have made commendable contribution in the cleanliness movement, by investing their savings in cleanliness related works.
- Panchayat representatives have also shown commendable interest in SBM.
- With the aim to take SBM forward, the Rural Development Ministry has taken a number of measures through MGNREGA. This includes awareness promotion among the village panchayats towards cleanliness in the rural areas and encouraging and trainings villagers to take up activities related to livelihood creation.
Managing Waste Water
- Management of waste water is a big challenge for the whole world today. Lack of planning and infrastructure for waste water management leads to unclean life situations.
- Waste water management in Telangana: soakage pits are being constructed through MGNREGA at family and community level.
- In Nanded district of Maharashtra MGNREGA funds were utilised for making soakage pits which has helped to get rid of mosquitoes in the villages.
- Considering the diversity of the villages in the country it should be kept in mind that no one model of sanitation can be adopted for all gram panchayats in India.
- We have to focus on developing such measures which are easy to adopt, economical and have minimum technical limitations.
- The villagers of the country must not limit cleanliness to October only and make it an integral part of their daily life, make it a habit and work on regular basis to clean their villages, streets, environment and surroundings, thereby contributing to the prosperity of rural life.
Swachhata: Juggernaut of Change
- Four years have passed since and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has moved from a vision into a juggernaut of change.
- While we still haven’t summited the task of universal swachhata, there has been an unprecedented improvement across the country.
- Sanitation coverage in India has increased from 38.70% in 2014 to 93.90% in 2018. Over 9 crore toilets have been constructed and more than 4.5 lakh villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
- The World Health Organisation recently reported that the SBM will result in averting more than 300,000 deaths between 2014 and October 2019.
Making Cooking Women Friendly
- Exposure to the smoke produced by a firewood/ coal/ cow-dung burning choolha, apart from causing household pollution and deforestation, also adversely affects the health of women and children causing several respiratory disorders.
- This deprives women an opportunity to earn a livelihood and paralyzing their social equity.
- Since the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), more than 5.51 crore LPG connections have been released for women from underprivileged and SC/ST communities in India.
- A new target of 8 crore LPG connections by 2020 has been set.
Improving Fuel Efficiency
- The increasing consumption of petroleum transport fuels is directly linked with atmospheric pollution. The government has taken several policy measures and interventions to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
- India successfully implemented BS IV norms all across the country in April 2017.
- The government decided to leapfrog from BS IV to BS VI fuel norms directly. BS VI standard is less polluting than BS IV, and comparable to global standards such as Euro VI.
- Pertinent to India’s challenge of balancing climate change with rapid economic growth, biofuels hold great promise.
- With an objective of addressing both the environmental pollution from burning of agricultural waste and generating additional income for farmers, the government approved the National Policy on Biofuels in 2018.
- Plans are afoot to set up 12 2nd generation bio-refineries which will be capable of generating bioethanol from agricultural residue.
- So far we have achieved 4% ethanol blending in petrol leading to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and forex savings from fuel imports and our target is to reach 10% ethanol blending in petrol.
- Great potential also lies in the employment of used cooking oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel which will not only augment fuel production, but also prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
Swachhata in Tourist Locations
- While the history of India is preserved in the glory of its monuments, we have all seen the garbage left behind by heavy tourist footfall at these iconic places. It is appropriate to spread the message of Swachhata at these locations.
- 10 such iconic places of historical and religious importance were identified and adopted by oil and gas CPSEs for upkeep and maintenance across the country.
- Initiatives such as the fortnightly observance of Swachhata Pakhwada and Swachhata hi Sewa provide an opportunity to showcase the core message of SNM.
- SBM has now become a ‘Jan Andolan’ with massive people’s participation and has created a sense of responsibility across society.
“So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Sanitation Revolution: Implementation at Scale
· Never before was sanitation put at the forefront of the national development agenda. From being a major cause of the world’s sanitation crisis, with about 600 million people defecating in the open, about 500 million people now have access to toilets through a sanitation revolution which has taken place over the last 4 years.
A recent survey under the World Bank support project found that 93% of the households surveyed which had toilets used them, confirming the behaviour change focus of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The movement has led to inclusive development, catering to all sections of the society – irrespective of age, caste, gender, religion and physical ability.
The contribution of women is greatest – the mission has afforded them the dignity and security and also guarantees the wellbeing of their families and the community at large.
The Challenge of 4 Ss
The SBM had to amplify strategy in order to address what we call, the challenge of the 4 Ss.
o To meet the need to change the behaviour of 600 million people, the SBM had to acknowledge the scale it was dealing with and respond with a national Team Swachh Bharat with the calibre to change the behaviour of the individual as well as the community.
o A sense of urgency needed to be created to kick start and roll through the campaign.
· Stigmas and Myths:
o The SBM could not set forth behavioural change without acknowledging the stigmas and
myths held for generations by the different communities.
o Along with addressing these on the ground, at a central level mass media campaigns were
o The Darwaza Band campaign communicated the need to use toilets by each and every member of the household.
o The film Toilet ek Prem Katha, gave a holistic picture of the troubles, obstacles faced by women and the eventual achievement of safe sanitation practices in the community.
o SBM also maintained its parallel focus on sustaining the jan andolan and the progress being made on the ground.
o Under ODF plus, SBM goes beyond toilets and works towards clean villages by prioritising
solid and liquid waste management in ODF villages as well as rural water supply for ODF
· The SBM is setting an example for the rest of the world to move towards improving sanitation for all and achieving the United Nation’s SDG 6 in mission mode and ensuring that behaviour change communication in all its forms is the only tool for sustainable change.
Yojana November 2018 summary
Q1- Critically examine the magnitude of Ganga river pollution, its causes and challenges faced by the government in cleaning the river.
Q2- It is said that wastewater remains an untapped resource, especially in India. What are the threats posed by untreated wastewater? What should India do to recycle wastewater and tap this resource effectively? Examine.
Q3- Discuss the importance of biofuels for India? Critically examine whether the national policy on biofuels will help India unlock its biofuel potential?
Q4- Despite the launch of PM Ujjwala Yojana, many poor families have not shifted completely to LPG cooking fuel. Examine.
Q1. The ‘GOBAR-Dhan’ scheme will be implemented by
- a) Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
- b) Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- c) Ministry of Rural Development
- d) Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
Q2. Consider the following statements:
- Rural sanitation coverage has more than doubled since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)
- Around 90% of households in rural India that have access to a toilet use it
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- a) 1 only
- b) 2 only
- c) Both 1 and 2
- d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q3. The “SwachhManch” platform under the Swachh Bharat Mission is primarily meant to enable
- a) Citizens to create, invite and/or participate in volunteering opportunities around
- b) Citizen scientists across India to participate in the annual SwachhSurvekshan surveys.
- c) Any citizen to contribute ideas towards maintaining the ODF status of cities already declared to be so.
- d) Citizens to share anecdotes about their experience of promoting cleanliness.