Volume 2 Issue 1
A year ago, Swachh Bharat mission was launched with much fanfare and glitz. Leading personalities from various walks of life endorsed the initiative which aimed at making India clean. It was indeed a noble initiative because we all know how much bad odor, bad image and most of all how many epidemics does dirty, filthy garbage bring to the nation. So, without a question, this was a great idea to work upon. But one year down the line, it is prudent and pertinent to ask how much change has it brought on the ground?
Building toilets was priority number one for the government. India is home to the largest number of open defecators in the world. It lags even Bangladesh in this regard. Lack of a necessity as basic a toilet has forced many children, mostly girls to drop out of schools. Open defecation is a social curse and a massive health hazard in that it poisons ground water which in turn creates multiple health problems, especially in rural areas. Besides, it is a security issue for women. So, the government of India embarked on making toilets. One year down the line, the government claims to have built 80 lakh toilets. But on ground, basic problems are bugging. Unavailability of water, non-existing sewage connection and lack of waste disposal systems are to name a few. Same is the case with toilets built in schools. So, a lot of effort is still needed. Building toilet is not enough, allied facilities are also needed. More importantly, users need to be brought on board. Currently, the amount that is given to people for building toilets is proving insufficient.
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