India is a developing nation and development does not just mean developing economically, it is defined by the overall development of a country and its countrymen. A country will be called developed only when its countrymen have good wealth as well as good health and this can only be achieved by personal practice. It is possible that you have attained higher education or own a multinational company, but even if your nation has not developed from any other point of view, you will not be called developed because your country is your identity.
We can say that our country is still illiterate in terms of cleanliness and it is our duty to contribute and make people aware because not a single government campaign will be successful unless the members of the country contribute. In this sequence, our Prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi started a cleanliness program naming Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
History of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The project Swachh Bharat was inaugurated on 2nd October 2014 by our prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi at Rajghat New Delhi. It is very big campaigning regarding cleanliness and was started all over India including rural areas. Our prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi, himself cleaned the streets and inaugurated the campaign.
Various famous personalities also witnessed the scenario and took part in this campaign. Students across the country and government employees took part in this campaign and increased its value. The main motto of this campaign is to spread awareness regarding cleanliness and develop healthy habits among people.
The campaign was launched on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on 2nd October 2014. It was chosen Gandhiji's birthday to celebrate Swachh Bharat Abhiyan because of his support regarding cleanliness. It was his dream to make India clean, so it was found as the best date to inaugurate this campaign and Mr. Narendra Modi wanted to pay tribute to Gandhiji by giving him a clean nation on his 150th birthday, which was held in 2019.
Gandhiji and his role in Swachhata Abhiyan
Gandhiji played a very important role in developing hygienic habits among people and wished to see India like other nations. Personal hygiene not only makes you healthy but also helps in the development of the nation because every year our country spends a lot of money on the treatment of various diseases and most of the diseases are caused by unhealthy habits. This money can be saved and used for development. Gandhiji was well aware of such things and promoted cleanliness. He was really very courageous because the steps he took in that era were very decent and bold and a common man would really need lots of courage to do anything like that.
In India, there was a group marked as untouchables and cleaning was their duty. Gandhiji did not follow any orthodoxy, he was an iconoclast for the society and this caused him many troubles but he never backed down. He believed that cleaning is an individual’s duty and stated:
“So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean.”
He always encouraged everyone to get some healthy cleaning habits and taught them the importance of cleanliness. He advised students:
"If you become your own scavengers, you will make your surroundings clean. It needs no less courage to become an expert scavenger than to win a Victoria Cross.
He promoted cleanliness and a clean India will really be a true tribute for him on his 150th birth anniversary. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been categorized into various groups discussed below.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Urban Area
The cleanliness campaign was inaugurated on a very wide scale and it has been distributed among various categories, as one of them is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for urban areas and the other is for village or Gramin, both are run by different ministries, under the same swachhata program. The Urban Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is headed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Main objectives of Urban Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:
- To make cities free from open defecation.
- Eradication of Manual Scavenging.
- To provide 66.42 Lakh individual household toilets.
- To provide 2.52 lakh community and 2.56 lakh public toilets in the city.
- Capacity Augmentation for Urban Local Bodies.
- To provide door-to-door service for new and scientific solid waste management in 4014 cities.
The data shows the number of open defecation free districts increased every year, although the progress was very slow till 2019, we attained 100% results:
The Urban Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to cover all these objectives and make all cities clean and 100% ODF free. Open defecation leads to multiple diseases and it is the first thing that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is concern about. The money spent on Individual household toilets is 4,165 crores whereas 655 crores for community toilets and 7,366 crores for Solid Waste Management. The government has also raised a fund of Rs.1,828 crore for various awareness programs. The overall money allotted for Urban Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is Rs. 14,623 crores. Overall the mission was marked successful and all the states marked themselves ODF free. Sikkim was the first state to hold this title.
Swachh Bharat Mission for Rural Areas
This mission is headed by the Department of Drinking water & Sanitation and more than 5,99,693 villages have been declared open defecation free, whereas 699 districts, 35 states including UT, have been declared open defecation free and about 16,32,42,383 toilets have been constructed.
The main objective of Rural Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to promote cleanliness and develop healthy habits in people in villages. People in rural India are not very much aware of health and hygiene, which leads to several diseases especially in children and it results in child mortality. Every year the government spends lots of money on the treatment of various diseases, caused by unhealthy habits. So, it’s better to make people aware of health and hygiene, as this will not only keep you healthy but also save your money.
Main objectives of Rural Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:
Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan for students
The Swachhta Abhiyan also contains special programs for students. As we know children are the future of any nation and they play a very important role in the development of the nation because once they will adopt cleanliness as their habit, the nation will grow clean. Keeping this in mind the government started various cleanliness programs for children, by various ministries.
- Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan
A cleanliness program specially organized for the betterment of students, so that they could be provided with proper toilets and to develop hygiene habits in them. It also focuses on building separate toilets for boys and girls.
- Baal Swachhata Abhiyan
A program led by the Ministry of Education and Health and it is celebrated on the occasion of Children's Day and lasts for five days, the birth anniversary of Nehru from November 14 to November 19 being the birth date of Indira Gandhi. It is also a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the main objective of this Bal Swachhata Abhiyan is, to develop hygiene habits in children from a very young age. Children are the future of any nation and when we develop healthy habits in them from a very young age, they will develop it as their habit and a healthy habit will always keep them safe and energetic.
In this five-day campaign each day is celebrated with a different theme:
- Clean Schools / Surroundings / Play areas: This is the theme for day one, in which students are taught some cleaning habits and the importance of keeping their school, surroundings and play areas including home clean.
- Clean Food: Cleanliness is not only about the environment you live in, but it also includes the food you eat, the water you drink and the toilets you use. Each day has been segregated among all these cleaning types and one of them is food. To develop healthy eating habits, like to wash hands before and after food and etc.
- Clean Self, Personal Hygiene, Child Safety: Personal hygiene is considered very important because a lack of personal hygiene can call various diseases, especially among children. Therefore, personal safety is very important.
- Clean Drinking Water: Just as we need healthy and clean food, similarly we also need clean and sweet water for drinking. We develop several water-consumption methods to develop water harvesting habits.
- Clean Toilet: It is very necessary to use a clean toilet because a dirty toilet can cause many diseases. Therefore, we should develop these habits from the beginning.
Main features of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The campaign aims sanitation but on a broader scale, including personal as well as social hygiene. It aims to develop proper sanitation and the use of technology for waste management. There are some important possibilities for hygienic development discussed below.
- To teach them the importance of cleanliness.
- To provide separate toilets for boys and girls.
- Solid and liquid waste management.
- Develop hygiene habits in them.
- Teach them to consume fresh food, clean water and use clean toilets.
Challenges of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Cleanliness is really a challenge for the nation because we have to work from the very beginning and there is a very large population in India which lives in villages and it is very tough to train them and let them know the benefits of hygiene.
Some of the common diseases like Diarrhea, Pneumonia are caused by unhealthy habits and every year more than 1000 children die because of it. These diseases can be prevented by adopting cleanliness.
Developing and making healthy habits is a huge task. The government has also raised funds for advertising and this is a big challenge. Although we have achieved our goals, it is a big task to maintain the same spirit among the people.
Some other Cleanliness Projects
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not the first project about cleanliness, several other projects have been started simultaneously and one of them is Nirmal Bharat.
- Nirmal Bharat
A cleanliness program which was started by the Government of India in the year 1999. It was a total sanitation program and was started to improve the sanitation situation of the country, especially in rural areas. Schools, Anganwadi centers as well as common people were all under this campaign. Nirmal Bharat was launched to spread awareness among people.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not the first campaign about cleanliness, there were many other programs were also launched in the past, but none of them got much recognition. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan got viral because of Modi Ji who, himself took the broom and cleaned the road and acted as a role model and people participated in this campaign with great enthusiasm.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for students
A cleanliness program where students participate with great enthusiasm and vigor to clean their surroundings and belongings can be called Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for students. Students are the future of any nation and when we develop habits of cleanliness in them, it will not only keep them clean, but it will also develop as their habit and a good habit is always appreciated.
A cleanliness campaign where students keep their surroundings clean, their school, playground, home, separate bathrooms for girls and boys in their schools, etc. ensure cleanliness for students. These were some characteristics of this campaign.
- Swachh Bharat: Swachh Vidyalaya or Clean India: Clean Schools
This program was launched in September 2014, to promote cleanliness in school and develop healthy habits in children. which includes, washing hands before and after meals, use of soap after toilet, consume clean drinking water in the school itself.
When students have good hygiene habits, their health will be good and good health will help them to stay active and take less leave, this will not only improve their academic performance but will also help them to perform well and it can improve their economic condition also.
- Swachhata Pakhawada
It is a cleanliness program that lasts for a week and is celebrated by various government departments. It was initiated in April 2016 and since then various departments have celebrated it in their own way, by promoting various cleanliness programs like cleaning their office premises, washrooms, etc. and promoting Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
- Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat
Railways connect the nation and it is the biggest medium to connect India and it also sets an example on tourists visiting a particular city. The campaign was launched by the Ministry of Railways in 2016 to promote cleanliness in railways and contribute to the cleanliness drive.
The following graph shows the list of railway stations won the cleanliness prize:
Some interesting activities organized across the nation
Different parts of the nation have been celebrated Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in different ways as some of them are discussed below:
- By conducting various seminars and workshops: Various seminars were organized across the nation to promote the cleanliness program.
- Banners and pamphlets: Various banners and pamphlets regarding cleanliness were displayed throughout the country to remind people of their every move. We can see posters at railway stations or other public places, which remind us to keep the environment clean.
- Conducting Rallies: Rallies were organized by various school children to spread awareness regarding healthy habits and to keep the environment clean.
- Taking Oath: At some workplaces, various programmes were organized and sapath was taken to keep India clean.
- Organizing Nukkad Natak: This is the best way to spread awareness as people watch the drama very carefully as it sounds interesting and various volunteer groups did street plays to promote the Swachhata campaign.
- Swachh Bharat Run: A competition was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan with 1, 500 runners to promote this campaign.
Various other activities are organized across the nation to promote the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Total money allotted for the Swachh Bharat Project
It was one of the biggest projects and the main motto was to make India free from open defecation and to build toilets in each and every house in cities and villages.
The money was spent in two ways one was in the advertisement and the other in the construction of 12 crore toilets.
Money spent on advertisement
From the year 2014 since the program was launched the government spent 530 crores for the promotion of the campaign. The main aspects of the mission were to make India open defecation free as well as to develop healthy habits, solid and liquid waste management, door to door waste collection, etc.
In the present budget, the money allotted was near about Rs. 16, 248 crore and by adding the money of the previous year, the bang total money spent on the promotion of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was near about Rs. 37 crores.
The money spent on the mission
- In 2014-2015 the total amount of Rs. 2730 crore was released and Rs. 3094 crores were spent.
- In 2015-2016 the money allotted was Rs. 6362.95 crore, from which Rs. 9370 crores were spent.
- In the year 2016-17, the government allotted Rs. 7856 crores, from which Rs.584 crore was unapproved.
- In the year 2017-18, Rs 4,242.07 crore was spent.
- For the year 2018-19, Rs 182.25 crore was spent.
This was the data of the amount spent by the Modi government for the swachhata project.
We can clearly see the year-wise money spent on this program in this graph:
To make the mission more popular and to encourage people to maintain cleanliness, the government started various competitions to attract the public. Clean India was segregated into various categories like the cleanest city, railway station, airport, etc. to promote swachhata.
Every year the government conducts a survey and announces the cleanest city, railway station, etc. and it has been seen that people take part in it with a lot of enthusiasm to steal the title of the cleanest city or many other categories. Every year we can see a very hardcore competition.
We have provided some year-wise data of the cleanest cities of India in the past few years:
Brand Ambassadors of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Every year some famous people are chosen to promote hygiene and make people aware of healthy habits. In the year 2014 when the program was launched by Mr. Narendra Modi and he announced few names as the ambassadors and requested them to promote the program. Every year new ambassadors are added to this group, we have listed year wise names of the famous ambassadors of this campaign.
Ambassadors of 2014
- Sourav Ganguly (cricketer)
- Kiran Bedi (Former IPS officer)
- Padmanabha Acharya (Former Nagaland Governor)
- Sonal Mansingh (Classical dancer)
- Ramoji Rao (Eenadu group)
- Aroon Purie (India Today group)
Ambassadors of 2015
- Rajyogini (Brahmakumaris Dadi Janki)
- Pawan Kalyan
- S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
- Amala (actress)
- K. Kavitha
- G V K Reddy
- Suddala Ashok Teja
- P Gopichand (sports)
- Humpy Koneru
- Galla Jayadev
- V. V. S. Laxman (sports)
- J. Rameshwar Rao
- Shivlal Yadav
- B. V. R. Mohan Reddy
- Akshay Kumar
- Lakshmi Manchu
Ambassadors of 2016
- Amitabh Bachchan
- Priyanka Chopra
- Sachin Tendulkar
Ambassadors of 2017
- Shilpa Shetty (Actress)
- Raveena Tandon (Actress)
- Dr. D.P. Sharma (Academician)
Ambassadors of 2018
- Sanjay Dutt (Actor)
- Juhi Chawla (Actress)
- Shahrukh Khan (Actor)
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was a very big campaign and it would not have been possible without the active contribution of the Indian public. The main agenda of this project was to make India free from open defecation, which was indeed a big challenge but kudos to the leaders who made it possible and achieved 100% results.
The clean campaign is not over, we still need to be active and keep our environment clean, do not throw garbage around. Dump your liquid waste in a blue dustbin and dry it in green color. Also, develop healthy habits in your child. By practicing these simple methods, we can contribute to making our nation clean. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan proves that nothing is impossible if you have the courage and true determination for your dreams.