Initiated plenty of times since 1954, Swachh Bharat Mission was successfully launched on the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2014 at the historic Rajghat. The mission was captioned as “Satyagrah to Swachhagrah”. It aimed at abandoning the practice of open defecation and promoting waste management. India got applauded for building more than 10 million toilets in 5 years, which was a world record.

Designated as a disease of poverty in a nation with more than a sixth of the world’s population, Diarrhoea has been responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Poor children had to become victims due to the lack of healthy hygiene practices. Awareness was the key and was rightly identified well in time. It seems as if the 14th and current Prime Minister of India had foreseen the pandemic back in 2014, which has lately hit the global population. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that the implementation of the mission has saved the lives of approximately 180,000 children in the country.

Unhealthy hygiene is soil to seed infections such as COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. Swachh Bharat Mission plays a pivotal role in checking the community spread of this highly contagious and fatal disease in a developing country like ours. One can only imagine today’s India without Swachh Bharat Mission witnessing tall bars of daily death tolls as a result of the pandemic, as is the case with the developed western world. It would not be wrong to mention here that India is not only clean now, it is educated as well.

Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat; Shikshit Bharat, Surakshit Bharat.