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Prime Minister Launches Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Mission Clean India)
Oct 03, 2014

On the occasion of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi  the Prime Minister exhorted people to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi`s vision of Clean India. Launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan the Prime Minister said it was our social responsibility as citizens of India to help fulfil Gandhiji`s vision of Clean India, by his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. 

The Prime Minister emphasized that the work of cleaning India cannot be done by one person, or by Government functionaries alone – it has to be done by 125 crore people. He said the work of Swachh Bharat should become a mass movement, and people should neither litter, nor let others litter


According to the World Health Organization, an average of Rs. 6500 per person was lost in India due to lack of cleanliness and hygiene. Swachh Bharat would therefore make a significant impact on public health, and in safeguarding income of the poor, ultimately contributing to the national economy. He urged people to devote 100 hours every year towards the cause of cleanliness. He also emphasized the importance of building toilets. 


The Prime Minister invited nine public figures: Mridula Sinha, Sachin Tendulkar, Baba Ramdev, Shashi Tharoor, Anil Ambani, Kamal Hasan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Team Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma to make a contribution towards Swachh Bharat, share the same on social media, and invite nine other people to do the same, hence forming a chain. He urged people to share their contributions on social media using the hash-tag #MyCleanIndia.


The Prime Minister congratulated the winners of the crowdsourcing contests for logo and tagline of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan – Anant from Maharashtra and Bhagyashri from Gujarat. The tag-line is Ek Kadam Swachhta Ki Or.  


20 Lakh Rupees to Every Village per annum for Swachhta Mission: Union Ministry of Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation announced that 20 lakh rupees will be given to every village in the country per annum to achieve the goal of clean India by 2 October 2019. The money will remain deposited in every Gram Panchayat for cleaning purposes. The Ministry has already announced 1,34,000 crore rupees for construction of about 11 crore 11 lakh toilets in the country in five years, besides taking other cleanliness measures. 


MDG Report 2014: India among Worst Performers


According to United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report, 2014 India’s progress has been below the mark on the parameters of poverty, child and maternal mortality and access to improved sanitation. In 2010, one-third of the world’s 1.2 billion extremely poor (32.9 per cent) lived in India alone. The poverty figures for the same year for Nigeria and Bangladesh, two countries less developed than India, were 8.9 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.


Between 1990 and 2012, two billion people worldwide gained access to improved sanitation, but a billion people still defecate in the open. A vast majority of the world’s population—82 per cent—resorting to open defecation live in middle-income, populous countries like India and Nigeria.


Official data on open defecation in India will put any country to shame. The country has the world’s largest population that defecates in the open. According to data released by the National Sample Survey Office in December 2013, 59.4 per cent of the rural population resorted to open defecation. 2011 Census figures put the number of rural houses without toilets at 113 million. 


To make matters worse for the country’s reputation, a recent study conducted by the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics, Uttar Pradesh, claims that in 40 per cent of rural households in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, which have a functional toilet, at least one member chose to defecate in the open. At least 30 per cent of the world’s population, which defecates in the open, live in these five states alone  


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