National Rural Sanitation Strategy for next decade launched

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The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti, GoI has launched the 10 Year Rural Sanitation Strategy (2019-2029), which focus on sustaining the sanitation behavior change that has been achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), ensuring that no one is left behind, and increasing access to solid and liquid waste management.

Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas; over 5.9 lakh villages, 699 districts, and 35 States/UTs have declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF). This strategy has been prepared by DDWS, in consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders, and it lays down a framework to guide local governments, policy makers, implementers and other relevant stakeholders in their planning for ODF Plus, where everyone uses a toilet, and every village has access to solid and liquid waste management.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister, Jal Shakti Mantralay, launched the strategy and said, “This strategy book is a framework to sustain the efforts of the SBM-G. The country has demonstrated unprecedented progress and all States and Union Territories have declared their rural areas open defecation free (ODF) – a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. I’d like to express my gratitude towards the State Governments for their efforts to achieve this goal. It is because of the SBM-G that India is now an inspiration, in terms of sanitation, for other countries.”

Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said “India has seen a sanitation revolution, and the SBM-G transformed itself into a jan andolan (a people’s movement).The 10 year strategy focuses on the need for States/UTs to continue their efforts to sustain the gains of the mission through capacity strengthening, IEC (Information, education and communication), organic waste management, plastic waste management, grey water management and black water management. ”

The strategy also speaks about potential collaborations with development partners, civil society and inter-government partnerships. It also highlights innovative models for sanitation financing.

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