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Case study; Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Mission

Theme: Clean India

Launch: October 2, 2018

Location: Pan-India

Stakeholder: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, citizens of India

It is a well-known fact that a clean nation is a healthy nation. Cleanliness and sanitation for India has been a story of gradual progress due to the country’s large geographical coverage of 3.2 million square kilometres. While policy measures can play a key role in ensuring universal sanitation, nothing can replicate the impact of a behavioural change in the citizens of the country.

In cognizance of this fact and to initiate a nation-wide movement to build a Clean India as envisioned by Shri Mahatma Gandhi, the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014. The core objective of the Mission is to “accelerate universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation”.

The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched with the aim of achieving a clean India (covering over 4,000 cities and towns), by 2019 through ensuring cleanliness and sanitation (solid and liquid waste management and making gram panchayats open defecation-free). The overall mission has two sub-missions i.e. SBM (Gramin) and SBM (Urban).

SBM Gramin is actually an extension of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan launched earlier. Besides promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation, the Mission also aims at promoting sustainable sanitation practices in communities and panchayati raj institutions and developing appropriate, cost effective technologies for sanitation.

SBM Urban targets urban areas, which are expected to be home to 660 million Indians by 2050. As of 2016, India had 33% of the total population living in urban areas. The population of urban India is expected to increase to 600 million by 2031 and with increasing population migrating from rural to urban areas, urban India will also need focused attention. Thus, to provide better sanitation and waste management facilities in the urban scenario, this mission has been brought in. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the annual Swachh Survekshan Survey for rating of 73 cities in January 2016. In 2018, the scope of the coverage has increased to 4,203 cities including 61 Cantonment Boards.

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Source:; Data as on August 19, 2018

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Source:; Data as on August 19, 2018


  • The Government of India has taken urgent measures to increase sanitation coverage in the country at a brisk pace. Since launch, 81.55 million toilets have been built across India under Swachh Bharat Mission - Grameen with a rural sanitation coverage of around 90.33% compared to 38.7% as on October 2, 2014.*
  • Further, since the launch of the mission, 4,19,391 villages have been declared open-defecation free.*
  • Under the Swachh Bharat (Urban) Mission around 4.32 million household toilets and 392,817 community toilets had been constructed. Moreover, 67,085 wards had 100% door-door collection (Solid Waste Management Rules)*.
  • WHO has estimated that if the Government achieves 100% implementation of its cleanliness drive by 2019, the country could be on track to avert 300,000 deaths due to diarrhoeal disease and protein-energy malnutrition (PEM).

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    *Data as on August 19, 2018


    Last updated: August, 2018