sulabh swatchh bharat

Thursday, 22-February-2018

India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream

A World Bank study estimates that the poor sanitation results into a loss of 6.4 percent of the GDP to country’s economy.

The world has begun to recognize India’s long tradition of Sanitation imbued in its culture. However, the infelicity lies in the fact that the concept of cleanliness was smeared with passage of time, perhaps the multiplying population or our own thoughts, the entire idea of sanitation went awry.

Certainly, the man who pondered over this issue in Modern India was Mahatma Gandhi. In the year 1901, he inspired the Congress party workers in Kolkata Conference for hygiene and cleanliness of toilets.  Everybody ignored him but Gandhi with a basket, broom and a sickle was all set to bring colossal change. This was the beginning of revolutionary change that made its impression on the pages of history. The independence movement was united with Sanitation movement by Mahatma Gandhi. He often used to say that Sanitation is prior to Independence. His initiative to spread awareness among people was once again manifest in the very first speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red fort for clean India Mission.

Subsequently, on 2nd October 2014 he exhorted people to fulfill Gandhi’s dream and began Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by wielding a spade. The success of the movement lies in the fact that the kids enthusiastically take part in encouraging people thereby prodding them as they filth roads, railway stations and bus stations.

It is a matter of concern that the country where cleanliness was engrossed in its culture and way of life toppled down from zenith to nadir in 19th century.

The Harappa Mohenjodaro civilization magnificently shows that in Indian culture sanitation was of crucial importance.  In ancient Hindu text, Devi Purana advocated Shauch(defecation) as far from the house as possible. In Buddhist era the construction of toilets and its usage had major role in their culture. Similarly, in the Mughal period there is description of construction and usage of toilets.

This altogether manifest that in Indian culture cleanliness has been an indispensable concern in different epoch. Infelicitously, presently in India a large number of people are helpless to defecate in open. Narendra Modi’s campaign is an initiative to align things that has been leading astray since a long time.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to make India open defecation free till the end of tenure of the present government in 2019. To fulfill Prime Ministers dream, it is pivotal to be on warpath. It might seem gigantic but with preparation and apposite roadmap this could be achieved within the timeframe. The sinew of the strength is the basic structure of the entire plan, to make India open defecation free till 2019 is not a forlorn hope.

It is significant to elect young citizens on Panchayat level.  He should be trained for 6 months for construction and development of toilets. This in turn would make him proficient to work in toilet construction, maintenance and spreading awareness among people to use them. According to an estimate, in order to free the country from open defecation, 12.5 crore toilets are needed. On the estimate of 2, 51,000 young citizens would be elected. After necessary training, each person could create 30 toilets.

In this way each elected citizen will create 720 toilets in the period of 2 years. Consequently, 18 core toilets will be constructed in entire country. The question that erupts here is economic. From where would the finance be generated? As per our estimate, to make a village open defecation free the expenditure will be around 60 lakh. There are three villages in a Panchayat. As per this estimate for every Panchayat the expenditure would be 2 crores. There are 30 panchayats in a block, in this way to make every block free from open defecation 60 crore is required and similarly in a district 600 crore expenditure is required. The expenditure could be government spending, or else 2 crore people of the nation could be inspired.

 In this sequel, saints, temples, mosques, churches that have wealth and resources should be inspired to succor in the mission of cleanliness.

In India there are approximately 16,057 companies, that inculcates to a turnover of 5 crore. They have their CSR Funds and could be inspired to work in this direction. The government is providing an amount of Rs 12,000 to make toilets in villages. In this era this meager amount is not enough for constructing a toilet. For the rest of the amount there should be provision of taking loans from the banks. Even if they get money the task of making 12.5 crore toilets cannot be achieved without the involvement of non-governmental organizations. Notably, 2 lakh NGOs file their income tax return. For this work special institutions could be formulated for speedy implementation.