In every six out of ten toilets, built under the Government initiative Swachh Bharat Mission, there’s no proper water supply as per the results of a Government survey. Is not this number giving a big shock to you? More than that, it also puts a question on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious target of making India open defecation free by October 2019. As the survey shows, the dream of PM Modi’s making India open defecation free by October 2019 looks quite impractical.
The survey by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) also resulted that the country’s sanitation has experienced a little improvement, but it is still very far from the target. Approximately 3.5 crore new toilets have been built using government subsidy since the NDA government took charge in the center, which is also the double of 2001 numbers. With a target to ensure toilet in every house by the next general elections by PM Modi, the government’s decision of giving a subsidy of Rs 9,000 to poor households and Rs 3,000 to others for toilet construction has helped in improving the sanitation.
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In their survey, the National Sample Survey Office also found that around 55.4 % of people in the village are still going for open defecation due to the absence of water supply and proper drainage in the toilets, which has been done on over one lakh households. However, only 7.5% people in the cities choose the open-defecation. The findings of the survey also notified that the hygiene-related risks the inadequate sanitation coverage pose to the 833 million people living in villages whereas 377 million people in the cities.
Earlier due to the absence of the water and a proper drainage, there have been many examples of people using newly-built toilets as a kitchen and storerooms in some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. There’s one good thing that the survey highlighted is that the number of rural households with a toilet has increased. On the other hand, the percentage has fallen mainly in cities due to the rise in rural to urban migration due to farm sectors suffering in the last three years. The Ramon Magsyasay awardee social activist Bezwada Wilson said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has literally failed to take a note of manual search. “The toilets are being built without any cleaners,” he added.
The survey also disclosed that there’s no agency has been appointed in Punjab, Assam, and Odisha for the cleaning of the community toilets built under the mission yet. In this first big Government’s survey on toilet revealed that 40% of the toilets in the villages were not connected to a drainage system. The survey findings said that in most of the villages, the toilet was being in a straight way released into local water bodies, polluting the limited water resources as well. We hope that the government should take some stern steps if they really want to fulfill their target of making India open defecation free by October 2019.