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Central Govt. — 09 April 2018

The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi, will address 20,000 Swachhagrahis in Motihari, East Champaran district of Bihar tomorrow. The event is the culmination of a weeklong “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign run in Bihar from 3rdApril onwards. At this event, associated with the clarion call “ChaloChamparan”, the Prime Minister will also award ten Swachhagrahis who have performed outstandingly in their villages. Chief Minister of Bihar and Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation will also be present at this event. In addition to addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister will also inaugurate new initiatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and NamamiGange in Bihar.

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagraha over a century ago, on 10th April, 1917, to give the country freedom from foreign rule. April 10th, 2018 marks the end of the centenary year celebrations of the Champaran Satyagraha, and is going to be celebrated through the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha” campaign, which is aimed at achieving freedom from filth.

To commemorate this landmark, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in coordination with the Government of Bihar, is working to spread the message of Swachhata across the country by initiating the “Satyagraha se Swachhagraha”campaign, from 3rd to 10th April. More than 10,000 Swachhagrahis from different parts of the country have been invited to Bihar, where they have been working with 10,000 Swachhagrahis from Bihar to “trigger” behaviour change throughout the 38 districts of the State and build momentum of the jan andolan further.

Background: Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin, launched on October 2, 2014 by the Prime Minister of India, ShriNarendraModi, is the largest behaviour change campaign ever attempted in the field of sanitation in the world. It aims to build an ODF (Open Defecation Free) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

India is witnessing a sanitation revolution with the number of people in rural India, practising open defecation having fallen from 55 crores in October 2014 to 20 crores by April 2018. Sanitation has been proven, by various independent studies, to have a positive economic as well as health impact on families in rural India.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), 6.7 crore toilets have been built, 3.5 lakhs villages and over 360 districts, and 14 States and UTs have already been declared ODF. A recent survey conducted by an Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages has found the rural toilet coverage to be 77% and the usage of these toilets to be 93.4%. The progress is accelerating every day and the Mission is on track to achieve an ODF India before October 2nd, 2019.

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