Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched by PM Modi on October 2, 2014 with the objective to eradicate open defecation by 2019, the year that marks the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji, who wanted to make sanitation a priority in the country. The program aimed at building more toilets, end the open defecation, and effectively manage the waste products across the nation. The primary objective of SBM is to improve the quality of life among the people by promoting the cleanliness, and motivating the communities to adopt the sanitation practices.
Towing the lines of this mission, Chinese president Xi Jinping has called for improving toilets across China, especially in rural areas. Aiming to improve the hygiene among the masses, Xi has stressed the need to upgrade China’s toilets in order to build a more civilised society.
The programme has so far received more than 1 billion yuan of funding from the central government and over 20 billion yuan from local governments.
Despite the fact that China has become the world’s second-largest economy, poor access to clean toilets in China is high on the list of problems. Many old public toilets in China are a row of pits or a communal trench with no privacy.
“The toilet issue is no small thing, it’s an important aspect of building civilised cities and countryside,” Xi said in a front-page article in the People’s Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece.
While the United Nations has declared November 19 World Toilet Day, Chinese authorities have called the event “World Toilet Day and China Toilet Revolution Awareness Day”.