The allocations for various environment protection schemes have either remained stagnant or declined from previous years in Budget 2018.
In Japan, cleaning is a public service to be performed by everyone, not relegated to one marginalised section of the society.
Essay writing, painting and extempore speech competitions about the government’s flagship programmes were organised in all government schools and colleges of the state.
Vinod Dua discusses the Modi meme posted by the youth wing of the Congress and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The success of such cleanliness programmes cannot be measured through factors like waste disposal and no open defecation alone; its role in reducing epidemic outbreak is equally important.
While United Nations special rapporteur Leo Heller’s report argued that the question of water supply and drinking water had also been overlooked, the Centre sharply rejected these claims.
Bezwada Wilson, the convener of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, talks to Vidya Subrahmanyam about the struggle of Dalits to restore the constitutional vision.
A recent article claimed that the Narendra Modi government has significantly improved on the implementation of various schemes. But the numbers quoted need to be questioned.
The people continue to defecate in the open, though government records show the village has functional toilets.
Arfa Khanum Sherwani discusses why the safety of sanitation workers is missing from our agenda of Swachh Bharat.
Innovate methods are being used to encourage people to end open defecation, but issues like the underutilisation of funds and use of coercive methods to achieve targets remain.
We are at a juncture where it is possible to think of a ‘clean India’ without looking at the issue of urban sewage workers who clean the society’s filth.
In an attempt to make the city ‘open defecation free’, families who had paid for toilets and were midway through construction allege that their houses were destroyed before surveyors came around.
“I had built a toilet but it had no water and I ran out of money to build a door. So I was out in fields when they came and took (arrested) us.”
In north Bihar’s Kosi, groundwater is very close to the surface, so people prefer to have their toilets farther away from home or they think defecation will contaminate their drinking water supply.
The Swachh Bharat Mission’s unthinking obsession with ‘behavioural change’ is taking an unconscionable toll on the poorest.
Zafar Hussein’s family and neighbours say he had stood up to the nagar parishad’s plan to get rid of the settlement where he lived and develop it into a posh colony.
Pfutsero resident Neingupe Marhu uses his minivan to pick up garbage the local administration has failed to clear.
On studying three unauthorised colonies, it was found that the incidence of children’s diarrhoea was related to the lack of safe excreta disposal systems.
The young people of Shikdamakha in Assam didn’t wait for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to set standards in sanitation. Today, the village is one of the cleanest in the country.
Demonetisation has crushed all the government’s previous pet projects, from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to Make in India, while still using patriotic emotions to advertise their importance.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mechanically-run government programme without a strong economic and environmental foundation and accompanying consciousness about what toilet cleanliness means.
The social objective is being converted into a writ that all must obey, with the state seeing citizens who are forced by poverty into open defecation as unsightly and inconvenient aberrations who must be bent and broken if need be.
Narendra Modi seems to have developed a flair for presenting evolutionary policy steps built on his predecessors’ work as revolutionary and original contributions to national development.
Evidence-based policy-making can help to maintain the constitutionally mandated separation of powers between the organs of the state.
The citizen’s collective Wada Na Todo Abhiyan has painstakingly documented the systematic budgetary cuts in social welfare programmes over the last two years and has called out the government’s pro-corporate policies that have marginalised the poor further.
On May 19, two artists working on a public, Delhi-government approved project to celebrate the city’s culture were allegedly threatened by a group of RSS members and then treated aggressively by the police.
Cesses are either economically inefficient or are not used for their earmarked purpose. Is it appropriate then for governments to continue with a rampant imposition of cesses?
In spite of the 8 million new toilets constructed, patterns of toilet usage haven’t changed much. Analysing cultural variations in toilet use provides surprising insights into why this might be so, and what can be done to change it.
The mass drill mode will make for headlines and photo-ops, but will have little or no lasting value unless there is a sustained programme and the infrastructure to go with it.
The lesson for other states is that they need to switch from the traditional construction-driven approach to one that is demand-driven, participatory and focused on behavioural change and toilet usage.