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Swachh Bharat Mission

  • 08 Oct 2018
  • 3 min read

The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) entered its fifth and final year of implementation. It was launched on October 2, 2014.

  • The Mission Coordinator for SBM is Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) with two Sub-Missions, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
  • Together, they aim to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.
  • In contrast to the construction or supply led programs of the past (Central Rural Sanitation Programme), SBM is a demand-centric model. It focuses on behaviour change to generate demand for sanitation services by the rural population which is then followed by supply.


  • The rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% in 2018.
  • Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission. Not only quantity but focus is being maintained on the quality of the work on the ground as well.
  • The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it, confirming that behaviour change is happening on the ground.

Communication Strategy

  • At ground level, the SBM foot soldiers, Swachhagrahis, participate in the triggering of communities for behaviour change and sustaining improved behaviours through Inter-Personal Communication which is being complemented with mass media at the national level as well.


  • A recent WHO study reports that Swachh Bharat will lead to saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter.
  • In a report titled ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’ UNICEF estimated that a household in an Open defecation free(ODF) village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has released a study that shows significant improvements in diarrhoea prevalence and stunting among children in ODF villages, compared to nearby non-ODF villages.
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