What is 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'?
- 'Swachh-Bharat Abhiyan' translated as 'Clean India Mission' is a national campaign started by the Narendra Modi led government, to clean the infrastructure and create sanitation facilities to make India 'cleaner'.
- It covers 4041 statutory towns and cities with the motive of creating a hygienic environment in India.
- It is considered as the biggest 'cleanliness drive' in India with millions of people participating in it.
Rashtrapati Bhavan sets an example for the nation
27 Sep 2014
- 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' was launched on 27 September at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Over 2000 officers and staff of the Presidential estate undertook the initiative to clean three different sections of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- The President's secretary, Omita Paul led the initiative.
- 27-28 September were declared working days at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the initiative continued till 2 October to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
The official launch for a cleaner India
2 Oct 2014
- The guiding motive of the launch was a 'cleaner' India by 2019 when the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji would be celebrated.
- PM Narendra Modi personally wielded a broom to trigger the initiative from Rajpath, New Delhi and kick-started a walkathon.
- Thousands of school-goers, college students and government officials joined him in the endeavour.
- Government officials in Delhi spent the national-holiday cleaning their offices.
'Cleaner India'- an expensive enterprise
The total expected cost for 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' was ₹62,009 crore. The funds will be shared by the Central government, State governments and urban local Bodies.
The extensive plans for the enormous movement
2 Oct 2014
- Modi described the initiative as a non-political endeavor, stemming out of strong patriotism.
- Some of the major objectives were elimination of open defecation, solid waste management, construction of toilets, supporting cities to build waste disposal systems, eradication of manual scavenging etc.
- Apart from providing facilities, the project emphasized on spreading mass-scale awareness to bring about behavioural changes in the attitude of citizens regarding cleanliness.
The progress report of the initiative
- Reports show that schools and colleges across the country have taken up the initiative to conduct cleanliness programs and generate awareness.
- A myriad of advertisements, online-videos and mobile-apps for the 'Clean India Movement' have been generated.
- According to a report, a total of 31.83 lakh toilets have been built between April 2014 and January 2015, which is 25.4% of the target for 2014-2015.
Cleanliness to come at a price: 0.5% cess levied
7 Nov 2015
- The Finance Ministry has announced that a 0.5% Swachh Bharat cess would be levied from November 15 on all services which attract a service-tax.
- This would increase the effective service tax rate to 14.5%; this is widely expected to increase once GST comes into effect.
- This cess would be used for meeting the targets of the cleanliness campaign, like building toilets across the country
World Bank approves $1.5 billion for Swachh Bharat
16 Dec 2015
- The World Bank approved $1.5 billion in funding for the Clean India campaign.
- World Bank statistics estimate that of the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation globally, more than 750 million live in India.
- The funding will be channeled through the Swachh Bharat Mission's Support Operations Project.
- The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will oversee the project's implementation.
Government launches 'toilet locator' app
22 Dec 2016
- The government today launched a new app for smartphones which acts as a 'toilet locator' to find a public restroom for those in need.
- It is developed by Ministry of Urban Development (MUD) and search engine Google; it will help people find the nearest and cleanest toilets.
- It will locate not just government-run public restrooms but ones in metro stations, malls, hospitals etc.
Have to use the restroom urgently? Government to launch new 'toilet locater' App today - Times of India
PM Modi's 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' set for mega launch Thursday; schools, offices gear up for event | Zee News
PC: 'PM Modi launches the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (1)' by M. Asokan - PM launches Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons