Swachh Bharat Mission: 430% return on investment if invested in toilet, says study

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Swachh Bharat Mission: 430% return on investment if invested in toilet, says study

This meant that a single rupee invested in sanitation allows a family to save Rs 4.30.

An average family that invests in a toilet will save Rs 50,000 per year. Considering the medical costs averted, value of mortality averted, and the value of time savings in fully open defecation free (ODF) communities , the cost-benefit ratio of a household is 430 per cent.

An independent survey was conducted by UNICEF across 10,000 households in 12 states of the country to measure the economic impact of sanitation at a household level. The survey found that the cost-benefit ratio of a household found in the study was 430 per cent in fully ODF communities.

This meant that a single rupee invested in sanitation allows a family to save Rs 4.30.

Informing this in a national media consultation on the Swachh Bharat Mission in the capital on Monday, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer said these benefits are the highest for the poorest quintile of the population in a community. This was encouraging as it established that improved sanitation helps the poorest of the poor the most , he added.

Over 100 journalists, development agencies and community workers attended the consultation. Iyer shared the details of the nationwide mass mobilisation drive "Swachhata Hi Seva ".

The drive follows an impassioned call by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission that falls on October 2.

Iyer said the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign is seeing large scale mobilisation of people from all walks of life to undertake 'shramdaan' for cleanliness and construction of toilets and cleaning up of public and tourist places .

The participation has already begun in full swing and has ranged from the president of India to the common citizen, involving Union ministers, governors, chief ministers, legislators, celebrities, faith leaders and corporate leaders spearheading the campaign in their respective areas of influence.

The secretary appreciated the tremendous efforts being made by school children, central police services and defence personnel . He also shared a snapshot of the progress made by the Swachh Bharat Mission so far.

Iyer mentioned that five states, nearly 200 districts and 2.4 lakh villages across the country have already declared themselves as Open Defecation Free. Of these, 1.5 lakh villages have ranked themselves on the Village Swachhta Index based on the solid and liquid waste management.

He also d an independent survey conducted across 140,000 households by the Quality Council of India, which found household toilet usage to be 91 per cent. He concluded by calling upon the media to spread the message of sanitation and cleanliness during the fortnight and beyond.

Nicolas Osbert, chief, WASH, UNICEF India, in his welcome address, spoke about the impact of lack of sanitation on the health and growth of small children. He said that it was heartening to note that with the Swachh Bharat Mission and the personal leadership of Prime Minister Modi himself, concrete action is happening on the ground with respect to changing old habits through genuine focus on behaviour change.