After three years, we finally see PM Narendra Modi’s vision transforming into a reality in India. Rajasthan– the biggest state of India, covering about 10% of the total national land, registered a progress of 23% on the Swachh Bharat Mission report card.
39% Rajasthan Villages Declared Open Defecation Free
Until January 10, 39% Rajasthan villages were declared ODF (Open Defecation Free), as reported by a Delhi-based advocacy group named Accountability Initiative. This data was retrieved from SBM MIS (Swachh Bharat Mission Management Information System). It’s a matter of pride for Rajasthan because till 2015, just 15% villages carried the ODF tag. It’s noteworthy that 1.2 crore toilets were constructed in Rajasthan until last month.
Which States are Leading the Race?
Despite this improvement, Rajasthan has a long way to go ahead. Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have attained 100% ODF villages whereas Haryana is close to attaining 84%. Compared to these, the national average is 40%. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the west performers on the list, with just 4% (UP) and 2% (Bihar) ODF rural regions.
Rajasthan Government’s Efforts Show Colour: Many Households have Well-Functioning Toilets in Rural Regions now…
Rajasthan’s success came at a hefty cost. In last three years, the state government spent about 219% more than the budgetary allocation under Swachh Bharat Mission to achieve ODF status. Compared to this, Madhya Pradesh spent 7 times more amount than Rajasthan still they’re far behind in this category.
According to standard guidelines, the state governments are expected to spend about 92% amount of the budget on IHHL (Individual Household Latrines) and 8% on non-IHHL functions like communication, information and behavioural training. However, Rajasthan government has spent 99% amount on construction of functional toilets in every household and just 1% on construction of Anganwadi toilets, public sanitary facilities and information activities.
Consequently, the state has performed better than other progressive states like Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.
For those who don’t know, IHHL or Low-cost toilets are facilities provided to BPL (below poverty line) families that constitute of scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, landless labourers, single parents, physically handicapped individuals and marginal farmers.
Both the central and the state government bear the funds allotted for toilet construction in 60:40 ratio. Apart from the construction of toilets, an additional incentive of Rs 12,000 is given to every household for maintaining proper hygiene.
Due to proper coordination between the government and the people, Rajasthan has set yet another landmark in the ‘hygiene and cleanliness’ category. Next, the government has taken up the ‘smart village’ challenge to ensure all-round development of state villages before 2020. Steps like these, have helped Rajasthan break free from the ‘BIMARU’ tag.