A Scheme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen) under National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Clean India Green India is a social business. It aims to tackle the problem of open defecation in rural areas by providing decentralized, low cost and hygienic toilets along with employment generation opportunities (mainly for women) through its entire value chain of collection, transportation, processing and sale of biomass. The project’s objective is to bring about a total behavioral change to eradicate the practice of open defecation amongst rural households.
Article on Clean India Green India, Mission Purpose, Objectives, Achievements
The Scheme is being implemented in the states of Ranchi, Jharkhand and Dungarpur District, Rajasthan under a pilot project launched by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), Government of India. As on date a total of 82400 household latrines have been built in the pilot project area.
Objectives & Purposes
To eradicate open defecation in rural areas through a decentralized, low cost approach by providing sanitation facilities to the households and employment opportunities for women. In addition to this, it also aims at generation of livelihoods on sustainable basis through decentralized processing and sale of organic manure from faecal sludge management.
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Importance of Clean India Green India
Open defecation is one of the key reasons behind India’s high morbidity and mortality rate. The magnitude of this problem lies in the fact that almost 50% of rural households still don’t have access to an improved sanitation facility which is the main cause for open defecation along with lack of awareness, inadequate water supply, poor standards of living and poor sanitation practices. At a global level, 1.9 billion people lack access to improved sanitation while 2.4 billion people, 75% of world population practice open defecation.
The current practice of open defecation is an irreversible health crisis which has been associated with various diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, worm infestations, typhoid etc. which together is responsible for around 6% of the total disease burden in India.
Furthermore, it also leads to environmental degradation by polluting surface and ground water resources badly thus, degrading community health and living standard along with having a significant impact on women safety.
Clean India Green India addresses these major concerns by providing decentralized sanitation facilities and employment opportunities, generating no less than 5 livelihoods per household through its entire value chain of collection, transportation, processing and sale of biomass.
Steps taken So far under Clean India Green India:
Eliminating the practice of open defecation is not an easy task. It requires a sustainable solution for both sanitation and resource management. To encourage rural households to use improved sanitation facilities, Clean India Green India scheme offers them decentralized, low cost toilets along with material which are required for their construction at nominal prices.
The scheme has been implemented in two phases with an aim to eliminate the practice of open defecation. During Phase I, 82400 household latrines have been constructed in different villages of three districts under the pilot project area i.e. Ranchi, Dungarpur and Jharkhand with an investment cost of Rs 92 lakh which covers design, construction, O&M and marketing.
In order to make them construct their own toilets under the scheme, households are provided with a subsidy support of Rs 5500 each in the form of a demand driven well-functioning revolving fund which is created through a community contribution of Rs 20 per annum from every household having completed toilet. This amount is given as a loan to the community together with an additional fund of Rs 5000 for meeting O&M expenses.
The revolving fund is carried forward from one year to the other by way of adding further contribution from households having newly constructed toilet. In Phase II, another 24000 household latrines have been planned to be constructed under the scheme covering whole project study area of 13 districts in Rajasthan.
The second component of Clean India Green India is composting of faecal sludge from the constructed household latrines which can be used for farming, gardening and landscaping purposes on a sustainable basis. Community-led provisioning of toilet facilities along with decentralized processing and sale of organic manure generated from faecal sludge is the key of success for this component.
To facilitate the community to get involved in collection of faecal sludge, 6 compost plants are set up in each district having a processing capacity of 24 tons per day with an investment cost of Rs 3.75 crore under Phase I which covers design, construction and O&M. For implementation of Phase II, 12 additional plants are planned to be set up covering whole project study area.
Once each plant is operational, about 400 persons are employed in the composting plants on permanent basis while another 2000 persons will get temporary employment opportunities within the plant premises, making it a total of 2500 direct jobs for rural youths.
In order to meet the cost of faecal sludge processing, Clean India Green India scheme offers subsidy support at Rs 2500 per ton to rural communities in form of loans which is carried forward from one year to the other with additional contributions.
The collected faecal sludge is processed and sold by rural communities through a decentralized sale network setup within the district having a capacity of 150 tons per day which makes 2.5 lac ton of organic manure available for sale and use.
The scheme not only provides employment opportunities to rural community at large but also imparts training on different aspects such as toilet construction, O&M and decentralized faecal sludge processing and its sale network establishment.
Achievements of Clean India Green India:
Following are the major achievements so far;
- 100% households in 5 pilot blocks in Ranchi district have completed construction of toilets.
- Community contribution down to only Rs 5 per household per month (from Rs 20) for financing revolving fund. Loans up to 9 lakhs are being given within 6 months after application against guarantee of membership share.
- A total of Rs 1.75 crore is released in the fund, covering about 1100 households out of 3000 villages having completed latrines. This has reduced financial burden on the community.
- O&M cost per household is kept at Rs 600 p.a through continuous engagement with communities using preventive maintenance techniques under supervision of supervisors trained by the implementing agency.
- Construction cost per household is around Rs 3000 p.a including Rs 350 – 400 for toilet construction material and remaining amount as labour charges – a huge reduction from earlier estimates of more than Rs 5500 which often deterred people from investing in toilet facilities. In addition to this, there is also an additional amount of Rs 2500 per household as subsidy that can be used for purchase of construction material or for labour charges.
- The compost value chain offers an opportunity to make available fertilizer at cheaper rates through decentralized sale network setup within the district having a capacity of 150 tons per day which makes 2.5 lac ton of organic manure available
In the baseline survey carried out in 5 blocks of Ranchi district, it was found that construction of household latrines and engagement with communities is comparatively more challenging in SC and ST households (19%) than general category (75%). Also there were some pockets where people had deep rooted cultural issues. Therefore, special efforts are being made to educate communities about benefits of sanitation and construction of latrines through campaigns, consultation meetings, etc.
Value addition through decentralized sale network set up for compost production is more attractive to communities where large number of SC & ST households are engaged in dryland farming having marginal landholding (1.5 acres or less).
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The clean India and green India is the greatest and needed initiative that will change the future of country and it is good chance for every individual to contribute towards this national cause. This campaign will accelerate employment generation in rural areas, reduce pressure on public health delivery system, enhance tourism and improve environment by reducing pollution level and degradation of clean drinking water bodies such as ponds and rivers.