Over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), says the Economic Survey 2018-19 which Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
The Economic Survey has outlined the progress made in the SBM that was initiated in 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019.
SBM is one of the largest cleanliness drives as well as an attempt to effect the behavioural change in the world.
“Through SBM, 99.2 per cent of rural India has been covered in the last four years. Since October 2014, over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF),” says the Survey.
As on 14 June 2019, 30 States and Union Territories are 100 per cent covered with an individual household latrine (IHHL). The SBM has significantly improved health outcomes,” the report says.
The SBM has helped reduce diarrhea and malaria among children below five years, stillbirth and low birth weight (newborn with weight less than 2.5 kgs).
“This effect is particularly, pronounced in districts where IIHL coverage was lower is 2015,” adds the Survey.