Swachh Bharat Mission is also a shining example of the philosophy of ‘Antyodaya Se Sarvodaya’. It has prioritised the marginalised and vulnerable sections of our cities, and has striven to uplift and empower the urban poor, said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs and Petroleum & Natural Gas today. He was speaking at the launch of Swachhata Hi Seva – 2023.
As a prelude to Swachh Bharat Diwas, the annual Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) fortnight is being jointly organised by Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and Grameen between 15th Sept to 2nd Oct ‘23. The fortnight aims to mobilize the participation of crores of citizens across the country via various activities such as Indian Swachhata League 2.0, SafaiMitra Suraksha Shivir and mass cleanliness drives.
SHS-2023 was launched by Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh in the presence of Shri Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Smt. Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation Department and Sh. Manoj Joshi, Secretary Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs through a virtual programme.
During the event, senior officials from cities of Leh, Ladakh; Pimpri, Maharashtra; Meerut, Uttar Pradesh; Lakhimpur, Assam shared best practices of Swachhata related activities in their respective cities.
A video on SHS- 2023 was launched during the event. In addition to this the event also witnessed launch of logo, website and portal of SHS- 2023. ‘Indian Swachhata League (ISL) 2.0’, ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Shivir’ Logos and ‘Citizens’ Portal’ were also launched on this occasion.
Speaking about the SBM and launch of SHS 2023, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, said that the upcoming ninth anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission and the launch of ‘Swachhata hi Seva’ 2023 is a moment of celebration. It is a time to reaffirm ourselves to the cause of keeping our cities clean. With the launch of the Swachhata hi Seva fortnight, we re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of Swachhata, the Minister added.
Addressing the participants, Housing & Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that when the honourable Prime Minister announced the Swachh Bharat Mission from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15 August 2014, such a large-scale transformation had never been imagined before. Despite a poor performance on sanitation till then, India achieved the target of ODF in the next five years. All 4,884 ULBs (100%) in India are now Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Talking about the transformation brought by SBM, Puri said that by building 73.62 lakh toilets (67. 1 lakh individual household toilets and 6.52 lakh community and public toilets), we have provided dignity and health to millions of urban poor. 95% wards in India have 100% door-to-door collection of waste. More than 88% of the wards have source segregation of waste. This was possible because the Swachh Bharat Mission evolved to become a ‘Jan Andolan’ instead of a typical sarkari programme, he added.
Hardeep Singh Puri emphasised that the Swachhata has become a foundational tenet in not just every government scheme but also in the way of life of citizens.
Drawing attention to the achievements of SBM so far, the Housing & Urban Minister said that 12 crore toilets have been built in last nine years, liberating the country from the scourge of open defecation. Our solid waste management, almost non-existent at the mission’s inception, now stands at an impressive 76%, and soon, we will achieve 100%, he added.
He further informed that the urban component of the mission has now been extended till 2026 through the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0). It aims to make all our cities ‘Garbage Free’ and remediate legacy dumpsites. The focus areas of SBM-U 2.0 encompass a range of aspects, including Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), Waste-to-Energy plants (WtE plants), construction and demolition waste management, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plants, scientific landfill sites, and the remediation of legacy waste.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister expressed hope that every city, village, ward, and neighbourhood pledges to contribute their shramdan (voluntary labour) to the cause of Swachhata. He urged the individuals to take a pledge to ensure that our cities are free from garbage, and complete Swachhata become a reality.