Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) or Clean India Mission was a nation-wide campaign in India for the
period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the street, roads and infrastructure of cities towns, urban and rural
cities and area in India. The campaign's official name is in Hindi and translates to "Clean India Mission" in English.
The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open through the construction of household-owned and community-owned
toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to
achieve an "open-defecation free" (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 100
million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore. The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable
Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.
The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India's largest cleanliness drive to date with three million government employees and students from all parts of India participating in 4,043 cities, towns, and rural communities. Modi has called the campaign Satyagrah se Swachhagrah in reference to Gandhi's Champaran Satyagraha launched on 10 April 1916.
The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("gramin" or "rural"), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("urban"), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
As part of the campaign, volunteers, known as Swachhagrahis, or "Ambassadors of cleanliness", have promoted indoor plumbing and community approaches to sanitation (CAS) at the village level. Other non-governmental activities include national real-time monitoring and updates from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as The Ugly Indian, Waste Warriors and SWaCH Pune (Solid Waste Collection and Handling) that are working towards its ideas of Swachh Bharat.
The government has constructed 11 million toilets since 2014. Many people continue to not use toilets despite having them. The campaign has been criticized for using coercive approaches to force people to use toilets. Many households have been threatened with a loss of benefits such as access to electricity or food entitlements through the public distribution system. However, a report by UNICEF shows promising improvements with sanitation coverage reaching 90 percent.