World Toilet Day, Open Defecation Free, public toilets, government lists achievements, Modi, Swachh Bharat

World Toilet Day: From Open Defecation Free cities to the construction of new public toilets, the government lists achievements

On World Toilet Day (WTD), the Government of India (GOI) shared several achievements of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all those who worked to “fulfill the dream of a Swachh Bharat.”

“The movement to ensure better sanitation facilities is a people’s movement of 130 crore Indians. I congratulate all those working to fulfill the dream of a Swachh Bharat,” said PM Modi.

According to the government, 100 per cent of toilet coverage is done in just five years (2014-2019). On 2nd October 2014, coverage was 39 per cent and, in 2019 it reached 100 per cent.

The government further informed that to ensure a clean urban India, 4,715 cities declared Open Defecation Free (100%). 3,547 cities are declared ODF+ (75%). It is pertinent to mention here that ODF+ cities/villages are those which have a system in place for managing solid and liquid waste.

In building community and public toilets, the government surpassed its mission target. As per the information, the mission target was to build 5.08 lakh community and public toilets. However, 6.26 lakhs are constructed (122 % target achieved).

Across 36 states/UTs, 11.65 crore plus toilets are constructed, informed the centre. Six lakh plus villages are declared as ODF. This has led to a reduction in death due to diarrhoea, and malaria in villages, claimed the government.

World Toilet Day is observed yearly on the 19th of November. It is an official United Nations international observance day. Before that, in 2001, World Toilet Day had been established unofficially by the World Toilet Organization. It is a Singapore-based NGO. World Toilet Day’s official convener is UN-Water.

On 2nd October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the SBM to expedite the efforts to fulfill universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation.

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Journalist Anurag Sason

About the author: Anurag Sason is an Indian journalist with experience in mainstream journalism. He has worked in newspaper, news agency, TV, news app (short video sharing app) and digital media. He tweets at @AnuragSason

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