Swachh Bharat Mission a lost opportunity, reduced to toilet counting: Expert

The expert claimed that PM's efforts were "sincere" but Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan remained "just a government scheme"

By: PTI | Aurangabad | Published: July 27, 2016 4:48 pm
Swachh Bharat Kosh, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Finance Ministry, Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Modi, Clean India, Swachh Bharat, news, latest news, India news, Delhi news, national news, latest news, Narendra Modi, PM Modi, Modi Swachh Bharat, Parameswaran Iyer, CSR, Swachh Bharat Pakhwada, Balvinder Kumar, Lord Jagannath Temple, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Ajmer Sharif dargah, Indian Bureau of Mines, Tapan Ray, Ameising Luikham Narendra Modi wields a broom with NDMC workers to launch ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. (Source: PTI)

Terming ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ a “lost opportunity”, water and sanitation expert Gaurisankar Ghosh on Wednesday said it has been reduced to “a toilet counting programme” and has failed to become a people’s movement.

Ghosh, the first mission director of National drinking water mission, suggested that to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) successful, linkage with major government programmes like Ganga Action Plan is important along with participation of people.

The Prime Minister’s effort is “sincere” but SBM has remained “just a government scheme”, he said addressing a FEJI and UNICEF organised WASH media workshop here

“SBM gives an impression that it is a total sanitation… But it is a toilet counting programme in a new birth.

“Lots of people say sanitation was discovered in India two years ago but that is not true. The country’s sanitation programme was developed in 1986 by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and taking funds from different government programmes, a spree of building toilets was started,” he said.

Ghosh, a retired IAS officer, was responsible for the global UNICEF operations during the period the first UNICEF water policy and strategy was prepared and even coining of the term WASH – water, sanitation and hygiene.

“It is very sadly an opportunity lost. I was very excited when the SBM was launched because the Prime Minister came out publicly and was sincerely committed to do something,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh, who was Secretary, Drinking Water Supply, Gujarat and Chairman, Gujarat Water Supply & Sewerage Board, said SBM on its own will not be successful.

“There is no linkage between any of the programmes like SBM and Ganga action plan. No link between hygiene and school education programme, impact evaluation is missing and it failed to become a people’s movement and remained a government programme,” said Ghosh, who was also the chairperson of UN Water, New York.

UNICEF Chief Field Officer Rajeshwari Chandrasekar said the workshop supports the flagship programmes of the government and works for health, nutrition and hygiene among newborns up to the age of 18 years in three phases.

On the occasion, Yusuf Kabir, WASH specialist, UNICEF, said community is major focus of the Swachh Bharat Mission and at present in Maharashtra, sanitation coverage of individual household latrine is 64 per cent on July 15.

The target is to make the state open defecation free by October 2, 2019, he added.

The Prime Minister HAD launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October, 2014 To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage.

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  1. I
    Jan 28, 2017 at 5:57 am
    India need the modern management techniques and latest technology in rural development sector and I believe that Mr. Gourisankar Ghosh well manage to Water treatment because Mr. Gourisankar Ghosh is Specialties with their 45 years experience in water management of Global.
    1. D
      Jul 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm
      1. M
        Jul 28, 2016 at 9:20 am
        this was the biggest and first lie that modi told the country, since than he lies everyday !!!!!
        1. P
          Jul 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm
          As I keep harping MOBILE TOILETS are a better option as villagers tend to use cemented toilets are turned into storage places. Cemented toilets deface the place and people make it either dirty and unusable. Our SBM intentions are made into tamasha by insincere local politicians and petty officials. I am glad that this article highlighted the problem areas.
          1. U
            Jul 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm
            the tax that modi is levying is obviously lining certain pockets, and BJP's coffers
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