The government today informed the Lok Sabha that till date 11 states and union territories (UTs) have been declared open defecation free (ODF) under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). This was stated in a written reply from the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi. The government is taking various steps under the SBM to make all states in the country ODF.
- Swachh Bharat Mission is centre’s flagship programme, launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 2 October 2014.
- It is also known as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission.
- The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- It aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, smaller towns, and rural areas.
- The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
- It is by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India.
- The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG 6).