Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (स्वच्छ भारत अभियान) is a national campaign by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.
It is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participated in this event. The mission was started by Prime Minister Modi, who nominated nine famous personalities for the campaign, and they took up the challenge and nominated nine more people and so on (like the branching of a tree). It has been carried forward since then with people from all walks of life joining it.[tii_spoiler title=”Progress “]
- The government has identified five “high-end services”, including bills in four- and five-star hotels, which will attract additional service tax to fund Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign.
- The government aims to mop up around Rs 14,000 crore annually for the Swachh Bharat Kosh, which includes the 1% cess on the five services, apart from a levy of Rs 200 a tonne on coal.
- In budget 2015 100% tax exemption is provided for contribution to Swachch Bharat, apart from CSR.
- TCS to construct 860 toilets for girls in schools by 2015-end.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed an enabling provision to levy the cess at a rate of 2 per cent or less on all or certain services if need arises. This cess will be effective from the date to be notified. Resources generated from this cess will be utilised for financing and promoting initiatives towards Swachh Bharat.
- The Cabinet approved enabling provisions for Swachh Bharat Kosh to enable people living in India and abroad and companies give funds for the clean Indian mission.Using the donations, the fund will finance activities such as construction of new toilets as well as repair and renovation of dysfunctional toilets in rural areas, urban areas, elementary, secondary and senior secondary government schools and aanganwaadis.
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This campaign aims to accomplish the vision of a ‘Clean India’ by 2 October 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. It is expected to cost over 62000 crore(US$9.7 billion). Fund sharing between the Central Government and the State Government and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) is 75%:25% (90% : 10% for North Eastern and special category states). The campaign has been described as “beyond politics” and “inspired by patriotism”.
Specific objectives are:
- Elimination of open defecation
- Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets
- Eradication of manual scavenging
- 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal/reuse/recycling of municipal solid waste
- A behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices
- Generation of awareness among citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health
- Supporting urban local bodies in designing, executing and operating waste disposal systems
- Facilitating private-sector participation in capital expenditure and operation and maintenance costs for sanitary facilities.