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52 Million Toilets Later, Has The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Made India Open Defecation Free?

Posted by Vishnu Tejas in Health and Life
November 28, 2017

A Day to Think And Take Action

It was in the year 2013, when the United Nations General Assembly officially decided November 19 to be observed as World Toilet Day. This is a day which is given less significance worldwide. Each year, a theme is selected to raise awareness about all the people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation. This year’s theme is wastewater along with the question,“where does our poo go?”

A video has actually been made by the UN-Water council to give us all the exact answer to it. According to the reports by UNGA, today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes their waste.

Where Does India Stand ?

According to the reports by WaterAid, India, the world’s second-largest country by population, is once again at the top with the highest number of people without basic sanitation. In India, 56% of the population including a staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet making them the most vulnerable. According to a study by the researchers of University of Michigan, “Lack of sanitation facilities is linked to higher rape incidents in India.” So isn’t high time for us to give more importance to a day like World Toilet Day ?

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission)

Thanks to the Narendra Modi government for initiating such a campaign towards cleanliness. Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign which was initiated in accordance with the 145th birth anniversary of Mahathma Gandhi , there has undoubtedly been immense progress made in improving access to sanitation. 52 million household toilets have been built between October 2014 and November 2017 which has allowed India to be among the 10 nations in reducing open defecation and improving access to basic sanitation.But there is still a long way to go.