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Swachh Bharat Mission: Driving India's Sanitation Renaissance

The Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) represents a transformative phase in India's sanitation narrative, driven by a history enriched with ancient innovations and bolstered by contemporary governmental efforts. Initiated in 2014 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the mission targeted making India Open Defecation Free (ODF).

This massive undertaking successfully mobilized nationwide participation, marking it as the largest behavioral change movement globally. By 2019, the mission celebrated the construction of over 100 million individual household toilets, declaring more than 6 lakh villages ODF, a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary and aligning with SDG Target 6.2.

The impact of SBM Phase I was profound:-
Health Improvements:
  • The WHO reported 300,000 fewer diarrheal deaths in 2019 compared to 2014, directly attributable to improved sanitation.-
Economic Benefits:
  • Families in ODF villages saved an average of INR 50,000 annually on health costs.
Environmental Conservation:
  • A significant reduction in groundwater contamination was noted in ODF areas.
Enhanced Safety and Dignity for Women:
  • With better access to sanitation facilities, 93% of women reported feeling safer at home.

Building on these achievements, Phase II of SBM-G, launched post-2019, aims to sustain the ODF status and introduce comprehensive solid and liquid waste management across rural India to achieve 'Sampoorn Swachhata’.

The mission's current phase is supported by an investment of Rs.1.40 lakh crores, which integrates various governmental schemes to enhance sanitation infrastructure further. In addition to infrastructure development, SBM-G promotes innovative cleanliness campaigns such as the Swachhata Green Leaf Rating and Swachhata Hi Sewa, mobilizing millions to participate in cleanliness drives. The Light House Initiative and the establishment of the Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee National Institute of Water and Sanitation (SPM-NIWAS) in Kolkata underscore the mission's educational and developmental commitments, aiming to inspire and train other regions towards achieving ODF Plus status.

The SBM-G model serves not only as a testament to India's dedication to improving public health and hygiene but also as a beacon of community-driven change, integrating the efforts of multiple ministries and millions of citizens. This journey from basic sanitation to a holistic approach towards sustainable sanitation practices marks a pivotal shift in India's public health strategy.[Read more about the continuous efforts and the visionary programs under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen, further pushing the boundaries of what is possible in public health and community involvement.]

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