Swachh Bharat progress key to UN SDG on open defecation

UN Secretary-General invited for international sanitation convention on Oct 2

September 07, 2018 01:57 am | Updated 01:57 am IST - NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI, 26/09/2016: Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayati Raj with Union Drinking Water and Sanitation secretary, Parameswaran Iyer (left) during the launch of Media Campaign featuring Amitabh Bacchan and Sachin Tendulkar at a function, in New Delhi on Sept 26, 2016. 
Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

NEW DELHI, 26/09/2016: Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayati Raj with Union Drinking Water and Sanitation secretary, Parameswaran Iyer (left) during the launch of Media Campaign featuring Amitabh Bacchan and Sachin Tendulkar at a function, in New Delhi on Sept 26, 2016. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

India is claiming the “world’s most improved” tag with regards to ending open defecation, thanks to progress under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Four years ago, Indians formed 60% of the global population which still defecated in the open; today, India’s share is estimated at just 20%, said Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer.

“The deadline for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 6.2 [regarding sanitation, hygiene and open defecation] is 2030. India is on course to fulfil its share 11 years ahead of schedule,” said Mr. Iyer on Thursday.

The Swachh Bharat programme aims to end open defecation across the country by October 2, 2019, which is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. So far, 19 States and Union Territories have been declared open defecation free (ODF) by the government. While 444 districts have been declared ODF, only nine of these are in Uttar Pradesh and four in Bihar.

To kick off the 150th anniversary celebrations, India will host the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in Delhi from September 29 to October 2 this year. The government has invited United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to participate, along with delegates from at least 50 countries, including both developed and developing nations.

“The success of SDG 6.2 is dependent upon India...In the global community, everyone wants to talk about the India story. How did we get the political will? How did we get public funding? How have we achieved behaviour change at such large scale?” said Mr. Iyer.

These questions form the basis for some of the technical sessions at the conference, which will be inaugurated by the President, and includes a plenary session with the Vice-President and a concluding session with the Prime Minister.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.