Aim to achieve Swachh Bharat Mission by 2019, as a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.

Swachh Bharat Mission

To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October, 2014. The Mission Coordinator for SBM is Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) with two Sub-Missions, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). Together, they aim to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, as a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.

In Rural India, this would mean improving the levels of cleanliness through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.


The aim of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is to achieve a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October, 2019


  • To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.
  • To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2019.
  • To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.
  • To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
  • To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
  • To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities


The focus of the Strategy is to move towards a ‘Swachh Bharat’ by providing flexibility to State governments, as sanitation is a State subject, to decide on their implementation policy, use of funds and mechanisms, taking into account State specific requirements. The Government of India’s role is essentially to complement the efforts of the State governments through the focused programme being given the status of a Mission, recognizing its dire need for the country.

The key elements of the Strategy include

  • Augmenting the institutional capacity of districts for undertaking intensive behaviour change activities at the grassroots level
  • Strengthening the capacities of implementing agencies to roll out the programme in a time-bound manner and to measure collective outcomes
  • Incentivizing the performance of State-level institutions to implement behavioural change activities in communities

Focus on Behaviour Change

Behaviour change has been the key differentiator of Swachh Bharat Mission and therefore emphasis is placed on Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). BCC is not a 'stand-alone' separate activity to be done as a 'component' of SBM-G, but about nudging communities into adopting safe and sustainable sanitation practices through effective BCC.

Emphasis is placed on awareness generation, triggering mindsets leading to community behaviour change and demand generation for sanitary facilities in houses, schools, Anganwadis, places of community congregation, and for Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities. Since Open Defecation Free villages cannot be achieved without all the households and individuals conforming to the desired behaviour of toilet use every day and every time, community action and generation of peer pressure on the outliers are key.

Flexibility to States

States have flexibility regarding the utilization of the IHHL incentive. The provision of incentives for IHHLs for rural households is available to States (from the IHHL component) in addition to extensive motivational and behavioral change interventions (from the IEC component). This is also used to maximize coverage so as to attain community outcomes.

Foot Soldiers of Swachh Bharat

There is a need for a dedicated, trained and properly incentivized sanitation workforce at the GP level. An army of ‘foot soldiers’ or ‘Swachhagrahis’, earlier known as ‘Swachhata Doots’ is developed and engaged through existing arrangements like Panchayati Raj Institutions, Co-operatives, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, Women Groups, Community Based Organisations, Self-Help Groups, water linemen/pump operators etc. who are already working in the GPs, or through engaging Swachhagrahis specifically for the purpose. In case existing employees of line departments are utilised, their original Line Departments are in clear agreement to the expansion of their roles to include activities under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Sanitation Technologies

Appropriate participation of the beneficiary/communities, financially or otherwise in the setting up of the toilets is advised to promote ownership and sustained use, both at the household and community levels. The built-in flexibility in the menu of options is to give the poor and the disadvantaged families’ opportunity for subsequent upgrading of their toilets depending upon their requirements and financial position and to ensure that sanitary toilets are constructed, which ensure safe confinement and disposal of faeces. An illustrative list of technology options, with cost implications is provided to meet the user preferences and location-specific needs. While the Government provides flexibility in choosing the toilet technology considering area’s topography, soil conditions etc., properly constructed Twin-Pit is considered the most preferred technology.

Monitoring Mechanisms

A robust monitoring arrangement has been put in place to monitor Open Defecation Free status of a village, the implementation of Solid and Liquid Waste Management projects as well as the construction and use of household toilets, school and Anganwadi toilets, and Community Sanitary Complexes. The monitoring also uses a robust community led system, like Social Audit.Community-based monitoring and vigilance committees will help in creating peer pressure. States decide the delivery mechanisms to be adopted to meet the community needs.

Making Swachhata Everyone’s Business

MDWS is the nodal ministry for all activities and initiatives towards achievement of a Swachh Bharat, besides its allocated charge of SBM-Gramin. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Ministry constantly works with all other Ministries of the Government, the State Governments, local institutions, non- government and semi-government agencies, Corporates, NGOs, faith organisations, media and the rest of the stakeholders. This approach is based on the Prime Minister's call that Swachhata has to be everyone's business and not only that of the sanitation departments. A host of special initiatives and projects have come out in quick time in this process. The response of organisations who do not have sanitation as their core work, to the call of Swachh Bharat has been extremely encouraging.

The cross cutting programs can be divided into two key categories

Inter-ministerial collaboration (IMC)
  • Namami Gange
  • Swachhata Action Plan (SAP)
  • Swachhata Pakhwada (SP)
  • Swachh Swasth Sarvatra (SSS)
  • School Sanitation
  • Anganwadi Sanitation
  • Railway Sanitation
  • Swachhata at Petrol Pumps
  • Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra
  • Inter-sectoral collaboration
Swachh Iconic Places (SIP)
  • Corporate Partnership
  • Inter-faith cooperation
  • Media Engagement
  • Parliamentarian Engagement
  • Engagement with Public Policy Researchers
  • NGO Relations


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