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On October 2, 2017, it would be three years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), to perpetuate Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas on cleanliness. The SBM is driven with the motive to clean the country of garbage by 2019, which would mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gandhi. To Mahatma, sanitation took priority over independence. 

Gandhi strongly condemned the practice of hiring people to carry night soil, which perpetuated the caste system in its worst form. Unfortunately already in the second half of the second decade of the 21st Century, we are still battling the menace of human scavengers cleaning the septic tanks. 

Despite being banned, manual scavenging continues to be practiced even in the National Capital under the aegis of the Government agencies. Open defecation, by Government’s own admission continues to be a big challenge. In the countryside, as the government figures indicate, still majority of households don’t have access to proper toilets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, “Mahatma Gandhi devoted his life so that India attains ‘Swarajya’. Now the time has come to devote ourselves towards ‘Swachchhata’ of our motherland. If we collectively make it a people’s movement then I don’t see any reason why we will not be counted among the clean cities and nations of the world. India can also do it, Indians can do it.” The words speak for his commitment. They have been the driving force behind whatever success has been achieved in this regard. 

As we take stock of the Swacch Bharat Mission, we also in this edition have made effort to take view of various development issues being pursued by the government and also changes that we have witnessed over the years. Hope the contents made at great effort are of interest to you.