Access to sanitation and safe drinking water is a basic right. Union Government programmes on sanitation have played a significant role in increasing access to sanitation facilities, especially in rural areas where the dependence on public provisioning of basic amenities is relatively higher than that in urban areas. The concept of Swachh Bharat encompasses ways to provide every person with sanitation facilities including toilets, solid & liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness and provision of adequate drinking water.

The World Health Organisation(WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for water supply & sanitation 2015, estimates that despite huge efforts to increase access to sanitation,  2.4 billion people globally have no access to improved sanitation facilities. Of them, 946 million defecate in the open. In India 394 million people defecate in open space.  Odisha, located on the eastern coast of India is the 11th most populated Indian state with a predominantly tribal rural population. With inadequate access to sanitation facilities, the rural areas report a high incidence of diarrohea and mortality.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:

Keeping this in view and to improve the rural sanitation situation in India, Govt. of India has made a journey from Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) to Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and then to  Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) and now finally to “Swachh Bharat Mission”(SBM).  The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2nd of October 2014, marks the beginning of the largest programme on sanitation by the Government of India till date. Swachh Bharat Mission has two sub-missions- Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for rural areas and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) for urban areas. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) – is a demand driven approach to provide rural households with sustainable sanitation facilities.

Joining the nationwide campaign, Govt. of Odisha is determined to achieve the goal of Swachh Bharat Mission by the year 2019. To ascertain the actual number of Households(HH) to be benefitted by SBM (G), a state wide Base Line Survey has been conducted. As per the Base line data, it is determined that:-

Total No. of HHs                                                  :90,20,100

HHs having Toilet                                                :10,38,127

Eligible HH for incentive under SBM(G)              :76,59,231

Individual Household Toilet constructed in Sankhamari village of Baramba Block, Cuttack

During the year 2015-16, the state has targeted to construct 12 lakh Individual Household toilets, 181 Community Sanitary complexes and 100 Solid & Liquid Waste Management projects. As of now 4,21,442 Individual Household Latrines(IHHL), 7 Community Sanitary Complexes(CSC)  have been completed under Swachh Bharat Mission. A state wide Information Education Communication  campaign was organized from 16th to 22nd March 2015 (National Rural Drinking water and Sanitation Awareness week) with an objective to create massive awareness among rural mass about safe drinking water, water security and its conservation, use of toilets, hand washing and solid & Liquid Waste management.

Spreading the message of cleanliness through cultural programmes (Ghoda Nach) in Kantapada block, Cuttack.
Spreading the message of cleanliness through cultural programmes (Pala) in Badapatsunderpur Gram panchayat of Kantapada block, Cuttack district.

In Cuttack district, under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), the target for construction of Individual Household Latrine for the year 2015-16 is 89,172 out of which  17,921 Individual Household Latrines have been constructed in different villages. Construction of 68,311 IHHL is under progress.  Likewise 3 Community Sanitary Complexes were completed and construction of 6 CSC are in progress.

During National Rural Drinking water and sanitation Awareness week seven “Jal O Parimal Rath (Water and Sanitation Chariot)” with sound system were deployed for wide publicity of water and sanitation slogans in rural areas of Cuttack district and leaflets on water and sanitation messages were distributed in rural areas. Cleanliness drives were also organised at different schools and villages to make people aware of keeping their villages clean as well as open defecation free.

The “Jal O Parimal Rath” for creating awareness among people of the importance of sanitation
Distribution of leaflets on safe drinking water and sanitation to villagers during National Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation awareness week

The high degree of policy priority accorded to sanitation with the introduction of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan could go a long way in achieving a clean and open defecation free India.

– By Ms. Sucharita Sahoo, Information Assistant, PIB, Cuttack