With a catchy slogan that reads “one step towards cleanliness”, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in India by honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the year 2014. Considered to be one of the most significant cleanliness campaigns, Swachh Bharat aims to clean the streets, roads, and infrastructure of both rural as well as urban India. The primary objective of this mission is to eradicate open defecation, which is still practiced in many urban and rural parts of the country. The campaign started with the construction of public toilets, along with toilets in every household. With the project cost of Rs.1.96 lakh crore, the Swachh Bharat Mission aimed at constructing 90 million toilets in rural India by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, i.e., 2nd of October, 2019, thereby helping India to reach Sustainable Development Goal-6 established by the United Nations in the year 2015. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin (rural) and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) operated under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs respectively.
Among other sanitary problems in India, open defecation and contamination of water have been primarily affecting the country for ages. Waste materials should be discarded properly and on-time. Plastic use should be reduced at the earliest, and municipalities should provide an accessible outlet for people to discard their household trash. Every individual should take up the responsibility to keep their society clean. People should also be educated about the need for waste management and cleanliness. Educating and creating awareness in backward areas is a must. Making them aware of the need of using toilets for defecation instead of outdoors to keep the environment clean is very important.
Ways to contribute:
The onus of keeping the streets clean is on every individual. Carrying a fabric bag, or a recycled paper bag while stepping out of home is the first tiny step people can take to contribute to the Swachh Bharat mission.
As per the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016, waste segregation at the source is mandatory. Segregation of waste is categorized into three streams: organic or biodegradable, recyclable, and other waste products. Households should be educated about waste segregation, so that waste collection and treatment becomes easier.
The state of personal hygiene in India is abysmal. As per a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in 2012, only 32% of rural households had access to toilets and other sanitation facilities. The need for proper sanitation facilities should be inculcated in the minds of the general public. This will, in turn, lower the spread of communicable diseases that bred from a lack of proper sanitation.
You can also replace petroleum-based cleaning products with eco-friendly cleaning products, thereby preventing harmful chemicals from damaging the environment.
Dumping of waste in open should be regulated, and people should be fined for littering, which is already a penal offense under section 279.
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