July 14: Barely three months ahead of the one year Anniversary of the ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised that every public school will be equipped with a toilet in the next few months. The PM was speaking in reply to a question about the claims that his Government is pro Industrialists and pro capitalists and anti poor people and anti farmers. Also Read - PM Modi Concludes 3-City Vaccine Tour: Highlights From His Visit to Key COVID Facilities
“We took up the task of providing toilets in all schools. It is going to be completed in next few months.Don’t children of the poor study in these public schools?,” he said in the reply. The goal of the cleanliness movement that was launched on October 2, 2014, was to make India open defecation free and the estimated cost is around Rs. 66,009 crore out of which the Centre’s share is Rs.14,643 crores. Read: Swachch Bharat Abhiyan to get song penned by Javed akhtar Also Read - PM Modi Reaches Pune's Serum Institute to Review Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Development
Official sources said physical targets include 1.04 crore household toilets ,2.52 lakh community toilets seats and 2.54 lakh public toilet seats and assisting 30 crore urban population with solid waste management practices. During 2014-15, about Rs 800 crore has been released to 28 states/ UTs.Over two lakh household toilets have been built besides 12,000 community toilets during the year. Read: Narendra Modi-government completes six months: Top 6 issues that backfired Modi Sarkar’s Acche Din Also Read - Govt Actively Working to Support COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers: PM Modi After Visiting Zydus Cadila
Government sources said 390 cities have reported 100 per cent collection and transportation of municipal solid waste. Standard operating procedures (SPO) were also issued by the government to ensure cleanliness during and after public gatherings and meetings. When UNI correspondents interacted with people across the country,most of them quipped ,” Bhai sahib, Modi ji ne lal quila par bola tha swachhta ke bare mein,hum to ab unke feed back ka intarzar karte hein on the Independence day “ ( Mr Modi had spoken about the cleanliness now, we await his feedback on August 15). Tone and tenor of people acrosss the country was same ,but they all admitted the buzz on the cleanliness front.
The SBM, in tandem with large number of government agencies, is bracing to ensure toilets in every school in next few months besides gearing up for to ensure cleanliness during the coming world famous Kumbh Mela in Nashik on banks of river Goadavari from July 14 to September 25. Mr Modi, in his latest meeting to review the programme,has directed authorities that spiritual leaders should be associated with cleanliness efforts during major congregational events like Kumbh Mela and Jagannath Yatra.
Ever since ,the mission gained momentum, a number of incidents took place and the Priyanka Bharti case of Maharajganj hit headlines,triggering debates. The 19-year-old bride had reportedly walked out of her husband’s house in protest against lack of toilet facilities.
Society exerted pressure on Priyanka to return to the martial house,but she did not give in. Then a social institution involved in the public toilet work chipped in and facilitated to build a toilet in her house.Now, she is travelling extensively to campaign for toilets in houses and increasing saniation.
Now, public sector undertakings are participating in a big way to construct and repair toilets . These include Coal India Ltd, NTPC, REC, Power Finance Corporation,Powergrid Corporation, NHPC and ONGC. Private corporates have also chipped in the task. The ‘Swachch Bharat Kosh’ has been set up under the Finance ministry to receive contributions.
The Railways is in the eye of storm over cleanliness because of complaints of dirty toilets,insects and mosquitoes in coaches. Bio toilets have been introduced on the coaches to eliminate open discharge of fecal matter on the track.More than 17,000 such toilets haD been fitted till March and equal number toilets will be fitted 2015-2016. Two sections have been identified to be made “zero toilet discharge”section by October 2,this year-Kanalus –Swarka-Okha and Porbander-Wansjalya. Jammu –katra and Manmadurai-Rameshwaram will be covered late in the year. All the trains originating and terminating and passing through will be equipped with bio-toilets.