UNICEF recently undertook a study to estimate the cost benefits that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission will have and what kind of benefit will be derived from each rupee spent on it. As a result, the organization found out that every rupee that is invested in improving sanitation in the country will help save Rs 4.30. The independent survey was conducted across 10,000 rural households in 12 cities. Nicolas Osbert, the chief of WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) UNICEF India while sharing the findings of the survey said, “In a open defecation free (ODF) community, considering medical costs averted, the value of time savings and the value of mortality averted, the financial savings for each household is Rs 50,000 per year,” as quoted by the Times of India. The survey also stated that the benefits are highest for the poorest section of the population.
While the study is yet to be released, Osbert stated that the survey shows that 85% of the household members use their washrooms to defecate. While speaking at an event organised by the drinking water and sanitation ministry, he said, “In terms of cost-benefit ratio, considering on one hand the expenditures from the households and from the government, and on the other hand the financial savings induced by improved sanitation, the study found a cost-benefit ratio of 430% on average, this means that Rs 1 invested allows a saving of Rs 4.3.”
Parameswaran Iyer, the drinking water and sanitation secretary was quoted by TOI saying, “five states, nearly 200 districts and nearly 2.4 lakh villages across the country have already declared themselves as ODF.” He added, “1.5 lakh villages have ranked themselves on the village swachhta index based on solid and liquid waste management in villages.”