Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 21
Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, delivered a lecture on ‘Implementation of large scale social transformation programmes: Lessons from the Swachh Bharat Mission’ during the 56th PU colloquium and Shenmar Memorial Oration at the Golden Jubilee Hall here today.
He shared various challenges in the implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission. He said: “The 2014 Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) (SBM-G) revolutionised the rural sanitisation coverage which increased to nearly 99 per cent from 38.7 per cent in the first year. “Developing a large-scale programme for a nation like India, with a complexity of 22 languages, 700 dialects and 6,000 villages was a challenging task,” he said.
He said more than 5.6 lakh villages and 617 districts have been declared open defecation-free (ODF). “More than 9.22 crore toilets have been constructed in the rural areas. Recently concluded National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) by an independent verification agency has pegged the toilet usage at over 96.5 per cent,” he added.
To bring behavioural changes on a large scale, over 6 lakh grassroot sanitation champions or ‘swachhagrahis’ were trained to deliver messages in villages. “The main tagline of the mission is ‘Swachhta is everyone’s business’ and we ensured that,” he said.