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To ac­cel­er­ate the ef­forts to achieve uni­ver­sal san­i­ta­tion cov­er­age and to fo­cus on the clean­li­ness of In­dia, the Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia had launched the Swachh Bharat Mis­sion on 2nd Oc­to­ber 2014. The mis­sion fo­cuses on the ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas pri­mar­ily to achieve a cleaner In­dia by 2019, as a fit­ting trib­ute to the 150th Birth An­niver­sary of Ma­hatma Gandhi, which in ru­ral ar­eas shall mean im­prov­ing the lev­els of clean­li­ness.

The ru­ral san­i­ta­tion pro­gramme in In­dia was in­tro­duced in the year 1954 as a part of the First Five-year Plan of the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia. The 1981 Cen­sus re­vealed ru­ral san­i­ta­tion cov­er­age was only 1%. The In­ter­na­tional Decade for Drink­ing-wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion dur­ing 1981-90, be­gan em­pha­sis­ing on ru­ral san­i­ta­tion. The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia in­tro­duced the Cen­tral Ru­ral San­i­ta­tion Pro­gramme (CRSP) in 1986 pri­mar­ily with the ob­jec­tive of im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life of the ru­ral peo­ple and also to pro­vide pri­vacy and dig­nity to women. Fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives were pro­vided to Be­low Poverty Line (BPL) house­holds for con­struc­tion and us­age of in­di­vid­ual house­hold la­trines (IHHL) in recog­ni­tion of their hard work.

The fo­cus of the Strat­egy is on ‘Swachh Bharat’ by pro­vid­ing flex­i­bil­ity to State Gov­ern­ments, by mak­ing San­i­ta­tion a state sub­ject, tak­ing into ac­count State-spe­cific re­quire­ments. The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia’s role would be to com­ple­ment the ef­forts of the State Gov­ern­ments through the fo­cused pro­gramme be­ing given the sta­tus of a Mis­sion, rec­og­niz­ing its dire need for the coun­try. Em­pha­sis is to be placed on aware­ness gen­er­a­tion, trig­ger­ing be­hav­iour change and de­mand for san­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties in Houses, Schools, An­gan­wadis, places of Com­mu­nity con­gre­ga­tion, and for Solid and Liq­uid Waste Man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. The Fo­cus will be on trig­ger­ing the de­mand and use of toi­lets through so­cial and be­hav­ioral change com­mu­ni­ca­tion and house to house in­ter­ven­tions. The be­hav­ioral change com­mu­ni­ca­tion should fo­cus on trig­ger­ing en­tire com­mu­ni­ties as com­mu­nity-based

Shri P. Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju, Hon’ble Union Min­is­ter of Civil Avi­a­tion, Dr. Gu­ruprasad Mo­ha­p­a­tra, Chair­man, AAI, Shri Anuj Aggarwal, MEM­BER(HR)-AAI and other of­fi­cials of AAI at Plan­ta­tion drive

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