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Swacch Bharat: India is not at all free from dirt, filth

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Swacch Bharat: India is not at all free from dirt, filth

It was the stated aim of the Swacch Bharat scheme to make India open defecation-free by today (Gandhiji's 150th birth anniversary).  However, take a stroll across the street and you will see many urinating out in the open.  In rural areas, crores of toilets have been built under the programme.  However, lakhs of people still defecate in the open.  They are said to be using the toilets as storerooms because they don't find any use with toilets!  

In this context, many on social media are urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do more to make the vision of Swacch Bharat far more effective.  They are also arguing that declaring India ODF will be a big joke (just in case the government is entertaining such an idea).  Says Pratyasha Rath, "People don't use toilets because of pits filling up. Usage lags during monsoons. There are water access issues. And though the cases might be decreasing, they are still there."  

Columnist Sreemoy Talukdar feels, "Sticking to deadlines and time-bound execution of projects (even if they involve inducing tough behavioral changes) are to be encouraged. However, this government is too easily seduced by anniversaries."

An urban resident says, "We see a lot of muck and filth around everywhere.  The aim of the Mission to build physical infrastructure has been achieved to a large extent.  However, behavioural change is still a far cry."

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