WHO thumbs up for Swachh Bharat’s rural component

It is estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) will result in preventing more than three lakh deaths due to diarrhea and protein-energy malnutrition between 2014-October 2019, notes a World Health Organisation (WHO) report released on Friday.

Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) will result in preventing more than three lakh deaths due to diarrhea and protein-energy malnutrition between 2014-October 2019.

India’s rural sanitation coverage has escalated to 89.07% by August 2. Under the SBM-G, 19 States and Union Territories were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 7.9 crore toilets were built, while 421 districts were declared ODF. Also, more than 4.9 lakh villages in the country were declared ODF.

The WHO study showed that before the initiation of SBM-G, unsafe sanitation caused 199 million cases of diarrhea annually and that by 2019, the initiative aims to achieve 100% sanitation coverage.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin, launched on October 2, 2014, is the largest behavior change campaign ever attempted in the field of sanitation in the world.

It aims to build an ODF (Open Defecation Free) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

SBM-Gramin mainly focuses on ensuring the use of toilets, besides their construction. The States and their implementing agencies will be given incentives for meeting performance standards: reducing open defecation, sustaining their open defecation-free status and improving solid and liquid waste management in rural areas.

In Rural India, this would mean improving the levels of cleanliness through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitized.

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