Modi’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” a Boon for Entire South Asia: WHO

Acknowledging India’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” translating to Clean India Mission, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that this initiative could save up-to three lakh lives. The WHO stated that if India fulfils its commitment to have a 100% coverage in terms of safe sanitation by 2019, then a large number of deaths could be prevented, which includes deaths from diarrhoea-related diseases and malnutrition. 

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was catapulted by the Narendra Modi government in the year 2014. India is committed to achieving a comprehensive safe sanitation scenario by October 2019. The WHO has conducted a study on the health impacts of the Swachh Bharat Mission and the inferences are promising.

As per the inferences from the study, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has pushed India towards safe sanitation and the determination to put a complete end to open defecation. These efforts and results could further lead to a scenario wherein the deaths due to protein-energy malnutrition and diarrhoea might witness a significant downfall.

If the calculations made by the World Health Organisation are anything to go by then the Swachh Bharat Mission could lead to 14 million more years of life in the period measured.

It is noteworthy that before the launch of this particular cleanliness and sanitation mission in India, there were around 199 million cases of diarrhoea per year. The model-based study of the WHO infers that this problem will be completely eliminated after India adopts a universal use of safe sanitation choices.

The WHO also underlined the fact that under this campaign of Narendra Modi, household sanitary coverage has seen a remarkable enhancement. The WHO does not just see India reaping the benefits out of this campaign but sees the entire South East Asia being a beneficiary to it. In the last budget allocation, an additional $15000 crores were dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission by WHO.

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