According to a study released by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), PM Modi’s flagship scheme, Swachh Bharat Mission has reduced ground water contamination in many villages in India.
The UNICEF study is based on ground reports from the three states of Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal. The study said that groundwater samples suggested that as compared to open defecation free villages, the villages not free of open defecation were 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated with faecal matters.
The study has said that the non-Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages are more likely to have contaminated ‘food and water’ compared to otherwise. The food is likely to be 1.48 times contaminated while household drinking water is 2.68 times due to soil pollution. The groundwater sources are 12.7 times more contaminated and the soil is 1.13 times more contaminated.
Another study by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that the government has mobilized 23,000 crore rupees so far for awareness regarding cleanliness. The two reports were released on World Environment Day. Bihar is worst affected due to soil pollution with 66.7 percent food sources being contaminated while the figure for Odisha and Bengal is 57.1 and 47.1 percent respectively.
“People made whistle gangs to taunt anyone who would sit in the field. Thousands of women started using toilets. Earlier toilets were made, but not used. We will go forward to provide more toilets as poor people want to aspire,” said Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar. “Now 96.5% toilets are being used regularly. We have seen children are eager to change things. The Swachh Bharat Mission has to be continued and sustained,” he added.
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), one of the most successful schemes of the Modi government has helped the country in reducing the infant mortality rate in the country. According to a report by United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME), about 8,02,000 infant (under 5 years of age) deaths were noted in Indian in the year of 2017. This is the lowest reported number of infant deaths in the last five years. In 2016, 8.67 lakh infants died in the country. Diarrheal deaths which account for more than 8 percent of the total deaths witnessed a substantial reduction in the last few years due to Modi government’s Swachh Bharat Mission. Poor sanitation and unavailability of safe drinking water is the reason behind 88 percent of childhood diarrhea.
Another study carried out by the WHO into health gains emanating out of the Modi government’s flagship program Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) had concluded that it would result in avoiding more than 3 lakh deaths between 2014 and October 2019.
The recent studies on SBM-G have confirmed that the Modi government has been able to achieve what other governments could not have even thought of doing. This also comes as a severe jolt who were criticizing the Swachh Bharat Mission just for the sake of it. However, the immense success of SBM-G there is a definite improvement in the rural lifestyle. Diseases related to poor sanitation facilities and open defecation are soon going to become a thing of the past. This is, without a doubt, the biggest achievement of the Modi government. It has made sure that basic facilities like sanitation no longer elude the rural areas of the country. With this, the Modi government has once again shown the ability to achieve desired results in a strict time bound manner.