Everyone must be their Own Scavenger – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

How Swachh is Bharat after two and half years of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan? Till now, every one of us is aware of this campaign. The mighty “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”. After all we pay the Swachh Bharat cess, don’t we? But we want to make everyone aware what this campaigns aims to achieve and how we can help. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is the largest cleanliness initiative taken by the Government of India. This campaign aims to clean every nook and corner of India which constitutes about 4041 cities and town. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan also aims to achieve “Open Defecation Free” India by 2nd of Oct 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made us realize how important this campaign is, by talking about it in his 2014 Independence Day speech.

He asked, “Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in open? Poor womenfolk of the village wait for the night; until darkness descends, so they can go out and defecate. What bodily torture they must be feeling, how many diseases that act might engender? Can’t we just make arrangements for toilets for the dignity of our mothers and sisters?”

These are the questions that most women have been seeking since centuries. But all they have received is shameless silence from the Government and the people. It is time we, as the responsible citizens of our country, and the Government take a step.

We want to talk about some facts regarding what this campaign has achieved till now:

  • 16.45 toilets have been built against the target of 25 lakhs toilets in urban areas till march 2016
  • 35 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free
  • 2.5 Crore toilets built in 2 years
  • 94,653 toilet seats have been built against the target of 1 lakh by March 2016
  • Government of India has allocated 9000 crores for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  • World bank has also provided $25 million encouraging the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

When we look at these figures, they are heartwarming and delightful. We feel proud of the Government when we see these figures.

But there are also some astonishing figures which contradict this:

  • 14 million tons of garbage is generated daily in India
  • 8% of sewage is not processed in India
  • Out of total solid waste generated, 83% is collected and only 29% is treated
  • Our one solution for processing waste is burning it, which is again a problem for another day.
  • Sanitary waste disposal in India is also a bigger problem as 75% of sanitary waste is not even properly dumped.

Despite having such success with the campaign, we are so behind. There are so many matters in this campaign which are still untouched.

In a survey by GreenBin organization in Bengaluru with rag pickers, following facts were found:

  • 80% of them accepted that the waste they get is still not properly segregated
  • The food waste they get is usually 2-3 days’ old
  • Sanitary waste is not properly covered and there is no proper system for processing these wastes.

This list of achievements and failures goes on.

Before closing this article, we ask you to look around and analyze whether we have moved forward or still struggling to find the proper direction.