“The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating urban India ODF. Urban areas of 35 States and Union Territories have become ODF. In all, 4,320 cities [out of 4,372] have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification,” a statement from the Ministry said, adding that 52 ULBS of West Bengal were not included.
The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India’s largest cleanliness drive to date with three million government employees and students from all parts of India participating in 4,043 cities,towns and rural areas.. Modi has called the campaign Satyagrah se Swachhagrah in reference to Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha launched on 10 April 1916.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) 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, urban and rural areas. The campaign’s official name is in Hindi and translates to “Clean India Mission” in English. 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. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an “open-defecation free” (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 100 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore (US$28 billion). The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.
Swachh Sarvekshan annual cleanliness survey
Swachh Sarvekshan, commissioned by Ministry of Urban Development and carried out by Quality Council of India, is an extensive sanitation survey across several hundred cities to check the progress and impact of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and to foster a spirit of competition among the cities.
The performance of each city is evaluated on six parameters:-
- Municipal solid waste, sweeping, collection and transportation.
- Municipal solid waste, processing, and disposal of solid waste.
- Open defecation free and toilets.
- Capacity building and eLearning.
- Provision of public toilets and community toilets.
- Information, education and communication, and behavior change.
Some newspaper articles suggest that open defecation has not fallen as rapidly and sustainably as the government claims. As per an independent research report published by ABC News & Info Services, Haryana disbursement of incentives under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) in the state of Haryana has been made arbitrarily by ignoring the government guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and the claimed success of Swachh Bharat Mission regarding Haryana could not be verified. In 2015, hundreds of thousands of Indian people were still employed as manual scavengers in emptying bucket toilets and pit latrines.