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Sanitation coverage in rural India under Swachh Bharat rises to 85%

74 million toilets built across rural India under the scheme; over 380,000 villages declared Open Defecation Free (ODF)

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Swachh Bharat Mission
Swachh Bharat Mission

coverage in rural India, under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the "largest behaviour change programme" in the world, has now risen to 85 per cent, the Ministry of Drinking Water and said today.

A statement issued by the ministry said that through mobilisation of rural communities, 74 million toilets were built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 380,000 lakh villages and 391 districts were declared Free (ODF).

This is significant because under the (Grameen), coverage has increased to more than double than at the time of launch of the Mission, it said.

"Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the largest behaviour change programme in the world, the rural sanitation coverage of has now risen to 85 per cent. This success has been achieved due to the difference in approach adopted by the in comparison to previous sanitation programmes in the country," the statement added.

The ministry said that a recent survey conducted by an independent verification agency across 90,000 households in over 6,000 villages has found the usage of toilets in rural to be at 93.4 per cent.

Two independent surveys conducted in the past by the Quality Council of in 2017, and the Sample Survey Organization in 2016, had pegged the usage of these toilets at 91 per cent and 95 per cent respectively, it added.

The is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone.

First Published: Fri, June 08 2018. 21:37 IST