4 min read.Updated: 24 Jan 2019, 09:56 PM ISTJaivir Singh
One of the many problems with Wash facilities constructed is with their operations and maintenance
Over the last few years, India has continuously made great strides in the sanitation space, the impetus to which was received from the government’s 2014 flagship project Swachh Bharat Mission. The plan has separate agendas of sanitation for urban and rural India, but they largely focus on improved solid and liquid waste management and ending open defecation, a crying need that required addressing throughout the nation. Sanitation coverage has increased from 38% in 2014 to 65% in 2017. The government also earmarked funds to improve water and sanitation facilities across all spectra of society and also encouraged India Inc. to contribute corporate social responsibility funds towards this cause. While the private sector’s participation has been promising, there still remains much to be done. Although the results have shown positive strides having been taken, more targeted interventions by the private sector, civil society and municipalities is the need of the hour, to look at solutions that will stand the test of time. Looking at the progress made under the mission, according to a recent WaterAid report, India now ranks sixth among countries trying to reduce open defecation and has been able to achieve a decline of 26 percentage points in its endeavour since 2000. It also features among the top 10 countries of the world who have improved their basic sanitation practices.