Modi's 'toilet revolution' in India that changed the lives of Indian citizens

Modi's 'toilet revolution' in India

Modi's 'toilet revolution' in India

Civilrights021 report.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a nationwide campaign in October 2014 to build toilets. The campaign, dubbed 'Sooch Bharat Mission', was launched across the country as a powerful movement.

The aim was to build toilets in every home in India so that open spaces could be completely closed for defecation.

According to official figures, the BJP government has built more than 100 million toilets across the country in the last five years.

Due to cultural and religious beliefs in India, building a toilet inside the house was considered defective. Most Hindus believed that the house was a 'clean' place and that building a toilet where food was cooked and eaten was tantamount to undermining the cleanliness of the house.

In this situation, persuading people to build toilets inside the house was also a big challenge.

Bandishwar Pathak, founder of the Toilets Museum in India, says: "Indians were told culturally that there should be no toilets around the house. It is written in the old books that an arrow should be dropped from the bow, where the arrow goes and falls, dig the soil at that distance from the house, defecate and cover it with soil.

Museum in India
 Museum in India

He says that due to such perceptions, in most parts of the country, especially in small towns and millions of villages, there were no toilets in the homes of Hindus and people resorted to farms, forests and desolate places to meet their natural needs. Were

This situation was even more difficult for women. It was a difficult process that had been going on for centuries. Not building toilets in homes was more about outdated ideas and beliefs than poverty.

A toilet building campaign was launched under the previous government in 2009 under the name 'Nirmal Bharat' but it was not very successful.

The Modi government's 'Swachh Bharat' campaign was launched as a national movement and its first phase was completed in 2019 when, according to official figures, about 90 million toilets had been built in the country.

The second phase of the campaign will run from 2021 to 2025. According to the government, 108.7 million toilets have been constructed across the country so far. The mission was funded by 28 billion and enlisted the help of millions of government employees and students.

One of the problems is that in many places toilets have been constructed but they are useless due to lack of water supply or drainage. In many places, the toilets are in a dilapidated condition due to lack of strong walls and ceilings.

But even more complicated are the same old and stereotyped ideas, and in many places, despite all the facilities, people still go to the open for defecation.

Leading columnist Lekha Chatterjee told the BBC: "It was a big step but it was initially focused on building toilets. It was not thought where the water would come from. How will the wastewater be drained? Who will take care of it and most importantly what efforts should be made to persuade people to use toilets.

He said that despite this, millions of people have started using toilets today and women and girls have benefited the most.

Sita Chaudhary of Vatika village
Sita Chaudhary of Vatika village

Sita Chaudhary of Vatika village in Sanga Nair, Rajasthan, says, “It feels great to have a toilet at home. I had to go in secret, it was very difficult. People would come, dogs and wild animals would come. I was very scared. "

Ram Babu Chaudhary of the same village says, “Now there is a big difference. Especially the lives of our daughters-in-law have changed. I had to go out in the first cold days. I had to go out in the rain. There would be people meeting, fear of dogs, fear of pigs, all kinds of fear. Now he is free. "

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shazia Alam says the government has so far built 108.7 million toilets in the country under the campaign. Before that, millions of women used to go for open defecation.

Before 2013, 32% of girls dropped out of school because there were no toilets in the school but now the situation has changed.

But in many places toilets are still not built.

A seven-year-old girl took her father to the police station

Okhal Babu's satirical letter which facilitated the common man to use the toilet in the train

What causes frequent defecation at night?

Lajavati from Sheikhpur village in Uttar Pradesh says, “We used to go out from the beginning and we still go out. My child is disabled but I have not been provided toilet (by the government). I am very worried. My kids go out too. '

Like Lajawati, there are many people who have not been able to build toilets due to local politics or mismanagement. Toilets built in many places are of such poor quality that they are unusable.

Armala Devi of Sheikhpur village says, “We used to go to the field and we still go to the field. The latrine is made but it is useless. Made of sand. Made of mud bricks. What good is a web site if it simply "blends in" with everything else out there? If you make it good, you will use it. '

Amish Chandra of Sharifabad village told the BBC:

"The situation has definitely changed but not as much as the government wanted," says Vane Bajpayee of Barabanki. Wherever you go in the villages, you will find people returning to the fields in the morning for defecation.

Despite all this, the Modi government has brought a great change in the Kasuvach Bharat Mission country.

Today, millions of state-of-the-art toilets are built in homes and areas that did not exist before, and most of them are in use. This was a major challenge and the government has been very successful in its mission.