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  • 12 April, 2020

  • 11 Min Read

Swachhata App and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Swachhata App and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched a revised version of the existing Swachhata-MoHUA App to handle queries specific to Covid-19.

  • Swachhata-MoHUA is the official platform for Swachh Bharat Mission built in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The app enables a citizen to post a civic-related issue (eg; a garbage dump, public toilets not cleaned, etc.) which is then forwarded to the city corporation concerned and thereafter assigned to the sanitary inspector of the particular ward.
  • It serves as an effective digital tool (e-governance) enabling citizens to play an active role in the Swachhata of their cities and increase accountability on the part of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
  • The revised version includes Covid-19 related support requests including fogging/sanitation, food, shelter and reporting violation of quarantine/lockdown, suspected cases of Infection.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi received the award of “Global Goalkeeper” from the Gates Foundation for the initiative of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on September 25, 2019 in New York.

What is Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is one of the most popular and significant missions in the History of India. This campaign was introduced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and was launched on 2nd October 2014 to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a Clean country.

Initially, this Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign was run on a national level in all the towns, rural and urban areas.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Objective

The major objective of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to spread the awareness of cleanliness and the importance of it.

The concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to provide the basic sanitation facilities like toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness and safe and adequate drinking water supply to each and every person.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Action Plan

The action plan for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to be laid by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The vision is to triple the facility of sanitation by 2019. The major change to be implemented is in the Making of an Open Defecation Free(ODF) India.

Action Plan Highlights:

  • Improve the growth percentage of toilets from 3% to 10% by 2019
  • Increase in the construction of toilets from 14000 to 48000 daily
  • Launch of a National Level/State Level Media campaign through audio visual, mobile telephony and local programmes to communicate the message of awareness.
  • Involvement of school children in the activities for spreading awareness on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)

  • Coming to Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), it is under the Ministry of Urban Development and is commissioned to give sanitation and household toilet facilities in all 4041 statutory towns with a combined population of 377 million.
  • The estimated cost is Rs 62,009 crore over five years with the centre’s share of assistance being Rs 14,623 crore.
  • The Mission hopes to cover 1.04 crore households, give 2.5 lakh community toilet seats, 2.6 lakh public toilet seats
  • It also purposes to establish solid waste management facilities in every town.

At the core of this mission lie six components:

  1. Individual household toilets;
  2. Community toilets;
  3. Public toilets;
  4. Municipal Solid Waste Management;
  5. Information and Educating Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness;
  6. Capacity Building
  • The Urban Clean India mission seeks to eradicate open defecation; convert insanitary toilets to flush toilets; eradicate manual scavenging, and facilitate solid waste management.
  • The mission emphasizes on ushering in a behavioral change among people, with respect to healthy sanitation practices, by educating them about the damaging effects of open defecation, the environmental dangers spreading from strewn garbage, and so on.
  • To achieve these objectives, urban local bodies are being brought in and fortified to design, implement and operate systems in order to promote a facilitating environment for the participation of the private sector in terms of both capital and operations expenditure.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural)

  • The Rural mission, known as Swachh Bharat Gramin, aims to make Village Panchayats open defecation free by October 2, 2019.
  • Removing obstacles and addressing critical issues that affect results is the new thrust of this rural sanitation mission, which aims to provide all rural households with individual latrines; and build cluster and community toilets on public-private partnership mode.
  • Considering the filth and unhygienic conditions in village schools, this programme lays special emphasis on toilets in schools with basic sanitation amenities.
  • Construction of Anganwadi toilets and management of solid and liquid waste in all Village Panchayats is the object of the Clean India mission.

Ranking of cities

Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of ‘Swachh Cities’ on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched in 2014.


  • Indore in Madhya Pradesh is India’s cleanest city and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh the filthiest
  • Out of 10 cleanest cities, 2 are from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh each while Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra each have one
  • Out of 10 dirtiest cities, Uttar Pradesh has 5 cities, 2 each from Bihar and Punjab and one of Maharashtra
  • 118 out of 500 cities were found to be Open Defecation Free (ODF)
  • 297 cities have 100% door to door collection of garbage
  • 37 lakh citizens showed interest in Swachh Surveksan
  • There are 404 Cities where 75% of residential areas were found substantially clean
  • Gujarat has maximum of 12 cities among the top 50 cleanest, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 11 and Andhra Pradesh with eight

According to the survey among top 50 clean cities:

  • Gujarat has a maximum of 12 cities followed by
  • Madhya Pradesh with 11 and
  • 8 in Andhra Pradesh

SBM – Facts

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, it has been decided to undertake a special clean-up initiative focused on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country.

  • The aim of this initiative is to make these 100 places model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience for visitors from India and abroad.

Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched Swachh Vidyalaya Programme under Swachh Bharat Mission with an objective to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all government schools within one year. The programme aims at ensuring that every school in the country must have a set of essential interventions that relate to both technical and human development aspects of a good Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme.

The Ministry financially supports States/Union Territories inter alia to provide toilets for girls and boys in schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

Rashtriya Swachhata Kosh

The Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) has been set up to facilitate and channelize individual philanthropic contributions and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to achieve the objective of Clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019. The Kosh will be used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, including in schools. The allocation from the Kosh will be used to supplement and complement departmental resources for such activities. To incentivise contributions from individuals and corporate, modalities are being considered to provide tax rebates where it is possible.

Rural Sanitation Strategy: 2019-2029

Recently, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the 10-year Rural Sanitation Strategy starting from 2019 up to 2029.

  • The strategy has been prepared by DDWS, in consultation with the State Governments and other stakeholders.
  • It lays down a framework to guide local governments, policy-makers, implementers and other relevant stakeholders in their planning for Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status, where everyone uses a toilet, and every village has access to solid and liquid waste management.
  • The strategy aims to sustain the behavioral change regarding sanitation that has been achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) and ensure that the focus is shifted to increasing access to solid and liquid waste management in the rural areas of the country.
  • The 10-year strategy also demands focused intervention through capacity strengthening, IEC (Information, Education, and Communication), organic waste management, plastic waste management, and water management.
  • Public financing has played an important role in the ODF journey but for the maintenance of toilets and infrastructure, the need is there for innovative models for sanitation financing.
    • With regard to waste management elements, there will have to be a convergence of funds from the Centre, states, Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and alternative sources of financing, including private funds.
    • Discussions are still underway on the budget requirement and whether funds will be disbursed via a centrally sponsored scheme or through Finance Commission transfers to PRIs.
    • The strategy highlights the potential collaborations with development partners, civil society and intergovernmental partnerships.

Open Defecation Free (ODF), ODF+, ODF++ Status

  • ODF: An area can be notified or declared as ODF if at any point of the day, not even a single person is found defecating in the open.
  • ODF+: This status is given if at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
  • ODF++: This status is given if the area is already ODF+ and the faecal sludge/septage and sewage are safely managed and treated, with no discharging or dumping of untreated faecal sludge and sewage into the open drains, water bodies or areas.

India has seen a sanitation revolution in the form of SBM-G that transformed itself into a Jan Andolan (a people’s movement). Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas. Till now, over 5.9 lakh villages in 699 districts and 37 States/UTs have declared themselves as Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Way Forward

  • It is because of the SBM-G that India is now an inspiration, in terms of sanitation for other countries.
  • To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October 2019, the Central government is ready to dedicate a Swachh Bharat to India.
    • To ensure this, the State Governments have been advised to take a note that no one is left behind, and in case any household does not have access to a toilet, they are facilitated to build a toilet on priority.


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