Gandhi's vision for a clean India took a step closer to becoming a part of our reality since India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi made cleanliness the focus of his speech while commemoratingMahatma Gandhi's birth anniversaryfrom Rajpath in 2014. Since then, the Swachh Bharat abhiyan campaign kicked off on a war footing with the vision to making India open defecation free or ODF by the end of 2019. As Modiji noted in his speech it was and still remains a lofty target as millions across India still do not have access to toilets or for that matter, clean drinking water or a clean environment.Despite its lofty targets, the Swachh Bharat movement has galvanized crores of people across India into contributing their time and pooling their resources to help make Modi Ji's vision into reality. It has been two years since Modi Ji announced Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and since then, over One hundred and forty one cities have been declared to be ODF free, over five lakh individual toilets along with over twenty eight thousand nine hundred community toilets have been constructed pan India. What makes Swachh Bharat Abhiyan stand out is that it is a comprehensive policy which seeks to effectively address the issue of open defecation, clean and litter free streets along with waste management, all of which tend to impact the quality of living among residents and other locals.
According to a UN report, nearly sixty percent of India is at risk from various water and airborne diseases on account of open defecation. Moreover, India's economy underperforms for the very same reason. India is ranked rather low when it comes to public health and development indices; in fact, one of the underlying causes as to why many Indians continue to remain vulnerable to various is on account of their dirty surroundings. The apt and rather trite saying "Cleanliness is next to godliness" may have resulted in many regaining their faith in their religion post the Swachh Bharat announcement. Puns aside, over millions die every year across India and the rest of the world from infections such as Cholera, streptococcus,Typhoid and Malaria among others. It is apparent that a clean environment would help arrest this and prevent epidemic outbreaks from occurring.While the Swachh Bharat campaign was envisioned as a way to help make India clean and dirt-free, the immediate impact on various development indices after Modi'sannouncement of the new campaign only made it apparent that India desperately needed a comprehensive policy like this one. One of the effects of this campaign was the door to door waste collection which saw residents queue up, to dispose of their waste safely rather than just throw it out their front door. This, in turn, has had an impact on diseases like Malaria and Cholera to a certain extent, with lesser number of cases being reported in for the last year in ODF cities with one hundred percent waste management.
Our better India is a non-profit organization aimed at educating countless Indians and others about the benefits of a clean and developed India. It aims to reach out to countless others regarding the various development policies announced to date by Modi and the positive transformation it will have on billions pan India. Swachh Bharat abhiyan is one such campaign and one that seeks to effectively improve the quality of life for every single Indian by making India clean and disease free. While countless many had argued that the policies were not realistic, the truth turned out to be stranger than fiction for the Swachh Bharat abhiyan has indeed shown everyone that the impossible is not only possible but doable. In fact, Our Better India's website showcases the progress so far with statistics listed on some of these policies and should serve to inspire countless others to better themselves and improve the quality of life for everyone around them.
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