Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose Champaran in Bihar for the concluding ceremony today of centenary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha in Motihari.
The theme of the centenary celebrations was ‘Satyagrah se Swachhagrah’. The Prime Minister addressed 20,000 ‘Swachhagrahis’ (cleanliness ambassadors) on the occasion.
Though the function was held in Bihar, the state’s record in implementing Swachh Bharat Mission ironically remains non-envious.
In 2014, Bihar was one of the seven states which had toilets in less than 30 per cent households.
While the number of toilets in five other states – Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana – has jumped to more than 61 per cent or 91 per cent, its number in Bihar and Odisha has improved marginally. The number of toilets in these two BIMARU states is between 30 and 60 per cent.
In 2014, the percentage of toilets between 30 and 60 per cent were found in 14 states. Now only Bihar and Odisha find themselves in this category. Fortunately for the country, no state has toilets in less 30 per cent households.
Kerala was the only state in 2014 with more than 91 per cent households. It is now joined by 17 other states.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have shown tremendous improvement by jumping from states having toilets in less than 30 per cent households to those having toilets in more than 91 per cent households.
States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana, Assam, Goa, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura have toilets in between 61 and 90 per cent of the households.
As on date, 81.77 per cent of the country is open defecation free (ODF) as against just 38.70 per cent on October 2, 2014 when Prime Minister Modi had launched Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
So far, about 6.87 crore household toilets have been built in the country ever since Prime Minister Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission.
The number of ODF villages in the country stands at almost 3.47 lakh. Now, the country has 365 ODF districts and 14 states.
Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagrah on April 10, 1917, against the British to fight for rights of farmers who were forced to undertake indigo cultivation.
Swachhagrahis or ‘foot soldiers’ and motivators help the centre and the states to implement the community approaches to sanitation at the village level.
The Swachh Bharat Mission has two sub-missions, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). Together, they aim to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, as a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.