4 years of Modi govt: Emphasis on cleanliness is key to keep diseases at bay
Access to clean drinking water and hygiene is not only a necessity, but the right of every citizen. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is the nodal department for the overall policy, planning, funding and coordination of programmes of drinking water and sanitation in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing on the importance of cleanliness, sanitation and access to toilets for all since the day he assumed office. On October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), 2014, Modi launched the ambitious Swachch Bharat Abhiyan which was welcomed by people from all walks of life. Celebrities, top politicians, government officials vowed to make this initiative a success and the social media was flooded with pictures of people wielding brooms.
The ministry responsible for the implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in rural India Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Uma Bharti heads this ministry, while Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi and SS Ahluwalia are Ministers of States.
Let us take a look at the key achievements of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation:
Swachch Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin: The main objective of the program, as stated by PM Modi, is to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a clean and hygienic India. As per the data released by the ministry, over 6.26 crore household toilets constructed, as of 21 March, 2018, since the launch of the Mission. In the four years since the current government took office, 3,23,560 villages, 314 districts and 11 States (9States+2UTs) have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), as of March 21 this year. 4,464 villages have been declared open defecation free under Namami Ganga initiative. Sanitation Coverage has increased from 38.70% in 2014 to 78.98 % as on 21.03.2018.
Swachch Bharat Kosh: Aim of this initiative is to improve the cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, with priority to girl toilets in schools. Rs 365 crore has been used for building school toilets and renovation of defunct toilets.
Rural Drinking Water Supply: Under this initiative, number of fully covered habitations increased from 73.66% as on 1.4.14 to more than 78% in 2017. About 2,70,000 habitations were covered from 2014-2017. More than 56 percent of the rural population have access to piped water supply now. 17% of the households have piped water connections.
Another sub-objective of this program is to provide safe drinking water to over 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations in the next four years.