Swachh Bharat Mission: Why Bill Gates is impressed with Modi’s ambitious scheme

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September 25, 2019 2:52 PM

What could have made Swachh Bharat Abhiyan even more closer to Gates foundation is the fact that the Bill Gates co-founded foundation is also pioneering the cause of sanitation across various countries.

Global Goalkeeper, Global Goalkeeper award, PM Modi, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Melinda Gates, bill gates, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, cleanliness mission, india newsPrime Minister Narendra Modi with Bill Gates. (Photo: Twitter/ @narendramodi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently conferred by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates-founded Gates foundation for his flagship Swachh Bharat Mission which is a one-of-kind scheme in the world to eliminate open-defecation. In just over a span of five years, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has successfully driven one of the world’s largest war against open human waste, helping the country become open-defecation free in 2019. With an ambitious target of building 9 crore toilets in rural India before the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the scheme has not just over achieved its target (India built over 10 crore households toilets since 2014), but has also spurred countries like Nigeria to take action against their own defecation issues.

“What I love most about Clean India is that it identified a big problem, got everyone working on it, and is using measurement to show where things need to be done differently,” Bill Gates said in a Gates note dated April 2017. While the scheme is expected to uplift the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year, it will also boost India’s economy and help girls stay in school, Bill Gates said. Accepting the Global Goalkeeper award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The campaign has not only improved the lives of crores of Indians, but it has also played a significant role in achieving the goals set by the UN”.

What could have made Swachh Bharat Abhiyan even more closer to Gates foundation is the fact that the Bill Gates co-founded foundation is also pioneering the cause of sanitation across various countries around the globe. However, the government had two challenges in making Swachh Bharat Mission a resounding success. While the obvious challenge for the government remained to build toilets for everyone, the second and a more difficult task for the government remained to convince people to use toilets “as people can be reluctant to change old habits,” Bill Gates added.

As the scheme has now been completed, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced new objectives for the scheme in Union Budget 2019. “I now propose to expand the Swachh Bharat Mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village,” she said. The government now eyes to use waste to generate energy by leveraging advancing technologies.

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