Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) is a campaign in India that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of ₹1.96 lakh crore (US$30 billion). The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG 6).
The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is India’s largest cleanliness drive to date with 3 million government employees, school students, and college students from all parts of India participating in 4,041 statutory cities, towns and associated rural areas. The mission includes ambassadors and activities such as national real-time monitoring and updates from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as The Ugly Indian, Waste Warriors and SWaCH Pune (Solid Waste Collection and Handling) that are working towards its ideas of Swachh Bharat.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a ‘Jan Andolan’ receiving tremendous support from the people. Citizens too have turned out in large numbers and pledged for a neat and cleaner India. Taking the broom to sweep the streets, cleaning up the garbage, focusing on sanitation and maintaining a hygienic environment have become a practice after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.