Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: A not-so-clean account -Sukumar Muralidharan
-The Hindu Business Line
The death of two children killed for relieving themselves in public just days before India was declared ‘open defecation free’ by the Prime Minister highlights the chasm between targets and solutions
India was declared ‘open defecation free’ on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150-year birth anniversary. A target-oriented sanitation drive, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) was a signature programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term in office. Rapid achievements were among many claims made as he campaigned in 2019 for a second term.
In anticipation of the mission accomplished claim, just about a week before the significant Gandhi anniversary, Modi announced at his Houston rally with expatriate Indians in the US that all targets had been achieved. He took a victory lap through New York to pouch the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award in recognition of his contributions to rural sanitation.
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