02 October 2019
New Delhi: On August 15, 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Swachh Bharat Mission, the aim was to bring alive Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a Clean India. On his 150th birth anniversary, the authorities intend to take another step closer to that dream by declaring the country open defecation free.
The advanced version of Swachh Bharat Mission is already in pipeline, which would focus on managing sewage faecal matter, solid waste management and other basic issues that create huge environmental implications.
Though the date for the announcement for the campaign has not been fixed yet, the government officials overseeing the policy-making of the campaign claimed that the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 or Open Defecation Free (ODF)-plus scheme would announced "very soon".
The campaign has been in the pipeline and the authorities have been coordinating with UNICEF for the same for over 12 months.
Sources in the government say that it has been planning to knock at every door in the country with the campaign and would also invest heavily on the behavioural change.
"We would be taking the campaign to every door in the country and will make sure that people manage their solid waste right at the source point that is their residences," a senior official told IANS.
"Like Swachh Bharat Mission, this campaign would also focus heavily on changing people's attitude towards the waste management in cities and on sewage faecal management in the rural parts of the country," the official added.
In an exclusive interview to IANS, the UNICEF India, Sanitation (WASH) chief, Nicolas Osbert also confirmed that the government and the global body are working on the project since last 12 months and that it would be an advanced version of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
"We, in UNICEF, have been working with government on what comes next after the Swachh Bharat Mission. It's been over 12 months that both of us have been working on Open Defecation Free plus, that targets the sewage faecal waste management and solid management as prime issues," Osbert said.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, launched on October 2, 2014 after Modi's announcement in his maiden Independence Day speech, over 10 crore toilets have been built in the country.