Swachh Bharat mission

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Swachh Bharat mission (SBM)
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA)
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan logo.jpg
PM Modi launches the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (1).jpg
PM Modi launches Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
SloganOne step towards cleanliness
Prime Minister(s)Narendra Modi
LaunchedRaj Ghat! 2 October 2014; 5 years ago (2014-10-02)

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, towns, urban and rural areas. The campaign's official name is in Hindi and translates to "Neat and Tidy India Mission" in English. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation 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,[1] by constructing 100 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore (US$28 billion). 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 areas. Modi has called the campaign Satyagrah se Swachhagrah in reference to Gandhi's Champaran Satyagraha launched on 10 April 1916.[2]

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.[3][4][5][6]

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.[2] 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.[7]

The government has constructed 11 million toilets since 2014.[1] Many people continue to not use toilets despite having them.[8] The campaign has been criticized for using coercive approaches to force people to use toilets.[9][10] Many households have been threatened with a loss of benefits such as access to electricity or food entitlements through the public distribution system. [11]


Open defecation and contamination of drinking and bathing water has been an endemic sanitary problem in India.[12][13] In 2014, India was the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation, around 530 million people.[14]


India's prime minister Modi at a rally to promote Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign, launched on 2 October 2014 on Gandhi Jayanti, aims to eradicate open defecation by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of 1.96 lakh crore (US$28 billion).[15][16][17] The national campaign spans 4,041 statutory cities and towns.[18][19] conceived in March 2014 at a sanitation conference organised by UNICEF India and the Indian Institute of Technology as part of the larger Total Sanitation Campaign, which the Indian government launched in 1999.[20]

Previous sanitation campaigns[edit]

A formal sanitation programme was first launched in 1954, followed by Central Rural Sanitation Programme in 1986, Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) in 1999 and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in 2012.[21][22][23][24] A limited randomized study of eighty villages in rural (Madhya Pradesh) showed that the TSC programme did modestly increase the number of households with latrines, and had a small effect in reducing open defecation. However, there was no improvement in the health of children."[25][26] The earlier "Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan" rural sanitation program was hampered by the unrealistic approach.[27][28][29] Consequently, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan was restructured by Cabinet approval on 24 September 2014 as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.[19] The rural household toilet coverage in India increased from 1% in 1981 to 11% in 1991, to 22% in 2001, to 32.7% in 2011.[30]


"Swachh Bharat Swachh Smarak" campaign was launched in December 2014.[31]



Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is expected to cost over 620 billion (US$9.0 billion).[6][32] The government provides an incentive of 12,000 (US$170) for each toilet constructed by a rural family.[15] An amount of 90 billion (US$1.3 billion) was allocated for the mission in the 2016 Union budget of India.[18][33] The World Bank provided a US$1.5 billion loan and $25 million in technical assistance in 2016 for the Swachh Bharat Mission to support India's universal sanitation initiation.[17] The programme has also received funds and technical support from the World Bank, corporations as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives, and by state governments under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan schemes.[16]

Planned initiatives[edit]

Indian Naval Academy cadets taking part in Swachh Bharat Mission, 2016

The Government appointed CPWD with the responsibility to dispose of waste from Government offices.[34] The Ministry of Railways planned to have the facility of cleaning on demand, clean bed-rolls from automatic laundries, bio-toilets, dustbins in all non-AC coaches.[35] The Centre will use its Digital India project in conjunction with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to have solar-powered dustbins, which send alerts to sanitation crew once they are full.[36] The Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya campaign was launched by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India by participating in the cleanliness drive along with the school's teachers and students.[37][38]

Promotional campaigns[edit]

Selected public figures[edit]

Manisha Koirala at Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in November 2014
One of the posters from cartoon based campaign by MCG drawn by the Cartoonist Shekhar Gurera
Beach cleaning robot Swachh Bot, made by a maker community in Chennai

Prime Minister Modi selected following public figures to propagate this campaign.[39][40] They are:

Anushka Sharma and the Vice President of India M V Naidu picked up a broom to help clean the cyclone-hit port city of Visakhapatnam, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, as part of the cleanliness campaign.[41][42]

Brand Ambassadors[edit]

On 2 October 2014, Prime Minister Modi nominated following people as Brand Ambassadors:

He also nominated a number of organisations, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Eenadu and India Today as well as the dabbawala of Mumbai, who deliver home-made food to lakhs of people in the city.[clarification needed]More than 3 million government employees and school and college students participated in the drive on the occasion.[43][44]

On 8 November 2014, Prime Minister carried the message to Uttar Pradesh and nominated another set of nine people for that state.[45][46]

On 5 January 2015, the minister in-charge nominated followed Telugu icons as brand ambassadors.[47][48]

From later dates the following public icons were invited to join and support the mission as brand ambassadors

Other notable activities[edit]

A Swachh Bharat Run, attended by 1,500 runners, was organized at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 2 October 2014.[55][56]

Kunwar Bai Yadav lived in a village in Dhamtari district and sold seven of her goats to raise the money to build a toilet at her house at age 106 in 2016. She was declared a mascot of the campaign and visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Inspired by the Clean India Mission, a robot named Swachh Bot was built by a maker community in Chennai to clean the wastes on Besant Nagar beach.[15][57]

Performance monitoring[edit]

Individual household latrines coverage in rural India.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Mobile app is being used by people and Government organisations for achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission.[58] For this the government of India is bringing awareness to the people through advertisements.[59]

In 2017, the national sanitation coverage rose to 65% from 38.7% on Oct 2, 2014 before the start of the campaign.[60] It was 90% in August 2018.[61] 35 states/Union Territories, 699 districts and 5.99 lakh villages were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 25 September 2019.

The cities and towns which have been declared ODF stood at 22 percent and the urban wards which have achieved 100 percent door-to-door solid waste collection stood at 50 percent. The number of Swachhagrahi volunteers working across urban local bodies rose to 20,000, and those working in rural India rose to more than a lakh. The number of schools with separate toilet facilities for girls rose from 0.4 million (37 percent) to almost one million (91 percent).[60]

Swachh Sarvekshan annual cleanliness survey[edit]

Swachh Sarvekshan, commissioned by Ministry of Urban Development and carried out by Quality Council of India, is an extensive sanitation survey across several hundred cities to check the progress and impact of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and to foster a spirit of competition among the cities. The performance of each city is evaluated on six parameters:-

2016 Swachh Sarvekshan survey[edit]

The Swachh Sarvekshan-2016 ranks of 73 cities surveyed are:[62][63][64][65]

Cleanest ten cities:

Ten least clean cities (at the bottom of the list):

2017 Swachh Sarvekshana survey[edit]

Swachh Sarvekshan 2017 was conducted across 500 cities between 4 January 2017 and 7 February 2017. The top 10 cities are:[66]


A door-to-door garbage collection van in the city of Indore

As per an independent survey released by Quality Council of India in August 2017, overall national rural "household access to toilet" coverage increased to 62.5% and usage of toilets to 91.3%, with Haryana topping the national ranking with 99% of households in rural areas covered and usage of toilets of 100%.[67] World Health Organization (WHO) has in its report stated that at least 180,000 diarrhoeal deaths were averted in rural India since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission.[68]


Some newspaper articles suggest that open defecation has not fallen as rapidly and sustainably as the government claims.[69][70][71] As per an independent research report published by ABP News, Haryana disbursement of incentives under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) in the state of Haryana has been made arbitrarily by ignoring the government guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).[72] In 2015, hundreds of thousands of Indian people were still employed as manual scavengers in emptying bucket toilets and pit latrines.[73][74][75]

See also[edit]



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External links[edit]