In a video posted to his official Twitter account, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the majority of the country now had access to toilet facilities. He made this statement on the basis of data submitted to the government that presented the success of the “Swachh Bharat Mission” that was launched after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance came to power in 2014. In the video, Modi said, “Today, 90 per cent Indians have toilet facility, which was only 40 per cent before 2014. Over 4.15 lakh villages, 430 districts, 2,800 towns, 19 states and Union Territories have been declared open defecation-free.”
Open defecation-free is a mission of the current government, aiming to improve the quality of sanitation services that the average citizen enjoys. Tying this to a global aim, the Prime Minister pointed out that the World Health Organization had identified that the improving of toilet facilities, and more importantly, access to them, stood the possibility of saving the lives at least three hundred thousand children. Having once been the icon for a clean India when he himself grabbed a broom and began to clean up the streets, the Prime Minister called on the nation to join him during the period beginning from September 15 to October 2, in order to begin the “Swachhata Hi Seva Movement”.
Summing up the importance of a “Clean India”, the Prime Minister said, “On October 2, we mark the start of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary. It is also the day Swachh Bharat Mission completes four years of being a historic mass movement aimed at fulfilling Bapu’s dream of a ‘Clean India’. The ‘Swachhata Hi Seva Movement’ is a great way to pay tributes to Bapu. Come, be a part of this movement and strengthen the efforts to create a Swachh Bharat! I look forward to interacting with those who have worked assiduously on the ground to strengthen the Swachh Bharat Mission after which cleanliness activities will begin. I salute all those working towards a Swachh Bharat!”