Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
3) Many reports have found that people not only across rural India but also in urban areas defecate in open due to a lack of toilets, especially in impoverished settlements. In the light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration of India being “Open Defecation-Free”, Analyse if India’s ODF status is truly a reality. (250 words)
Why this question:
The question seeks to examine the status of Open defecation in India.
Key demand of the question:
October 2nd 2019 was Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary; it was also the anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Speaking in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India “open defecation-free”.
Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.
Structure of the answer:
In short define – Open defecation free is broadly defined by the absence of visible feces in the environment.
Explain first the relevant statistics in the country with respect to ODF status.
Then discuss what has been the government’s strategy.
Explain the Behavioural pattern – Many reports have found that several people in villages across India, including the national capital, were still forced to defecate in open due to lack of toilets, especially in impoverished colonies.
People in few pockets in the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have functional latrine but have continued to defecate in the open.
Discuss other areas that need introspection – India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated. As noted above, the government has chosen to prioritise toilet construction at the cost of waste management services.
Lives of manual scavengers across Indian cities do not seem to have changed much in the years of SBM.
Many rural Indians were threatened with or even denied their legal rights, such as PDS ration, for not building a latrine. Officials resorted to threats of fines and jail terms to intimidate people in some places etc.
Conclude with way forward by highlighting the positives of the move.