Rural Sanitation

The Central Rural Sanitation Programme, which was started in 1986, was one of India’s first efforts to provide safe sanitation in rural areas. This programme focussed mainly on providing subsidies to people to construct sanitation facilities. However, a study done by the government in 1996-97 showed that it was more important to raise awareness about sanitation as a whole rather than to just provide subsidies for construction. This understanding marked the first shift in the programme. In 1999, a restructured Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was initiated to create supply-led sanitation by promoting local sanitary marts and a range of technological options.

The rural sanitation campaign has the following as its objectives:

  • Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas.
  • Generate a push from the people to get facilities rather than expect the Government to do it (demand-led promotion).
  • Focus on intensive education and awareness campaigns to ensure that people understand the need for safe sanitation.
  • Take the scheme beyond rural households to rural schools and nursery schools. Here again, the emphasis was placed on promoting good hygiene practices.
  • Promote cost-effective and appropriate technologies.
  • Through all the above, improve the health and quality of life in rural areas.

The last modification of the scheme happened in 2012. It was restructured and renamed as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. With an intent to transform India to "Nirmal Bharat", the scheme's revised target for reaching total sanitation was changed from 2012 to 2022. 

Understanding rural sanitation dataState of rural sanitation in India - Progress and performance - Data visualisation tool by Arghyam

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation publishes data related to the rural sanitation scheme on its website. The State of Sanitation Project is an effort to create simple tools that will demystify large datasets and also compare it to other relevant datasets.

View the State of sanitation in India - Data visualisation tool.

From outlays to outcomes: understanding the status of rural sanitation data

The census 2011 data on rural sanitation coverage was a reality check to the existing understanding that the government’s efforts at rural sanitation were moving rapidly towards achieving universal coverage. 

Below are some key lessons that emerged:

  • A difference in the total number of rural households as counted by the census 2011 and the government scheme – while in 2001, the difference was 0.14 lakhs, in 2011, the difference had grown to 884.03 lakhs.
  • A huge difference in the number of rural households with toilets. According to census 2011 data, only 30.7% of rural households had access to toilets in 2011. According to rural sanitation scheme data the number was considerably larger at 79.9%.

Some of these differences can be accounted for by the fact that the sanitation scheme achievement number was calculated on household numbers that were lesser than the 2011 household number. When corrected for this, the total achievement fell to 65.7 percent, which was still significantly higher than the number reported by the census 2011.

Based on these calculations India will have to spend anywhere between 9 – 19 times of its expenditure up to 2011 (Rs. 6140 crore) in order to achieve universal coverage of household toilets – which is just one component of the government scheme.

Download and read the entire study: From outlays to outcomes - The state of rural sanitation data in India - A report by Accountability Initiative and Arghyam (2013).

Download rural sanitation fact sheets for all states of India.

Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research carried out the research for the State of Sanitation Project. Arghyam supported the effort.

About the State of Sanitation Project

The goal of the State of Sanitation project is to understand the success of the government’s rural sanitation scheme from the lenses of coverage, equity, accountability, efficiency and health.State of Sanitation

Open defecation in rural India remains a problem that perplexes policy makers and civil society alike. India has the largest number of people who practice open defecation (626 million) and the most number of child deaths due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions compared to the rest of the world.

While access to toilets is by itself an important aspect that needs to be understood, it is not enough to reach the goal of total sanitation. Indeed, India’s rural sanitation scheme which was devised in 1986 and restructured in 2012 as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) acknowledges this. Its goal is not only universal toilet coverage by 2022, but also improving health and providing privacy and dignity to women, with the overall goal of improving the quality of life of people living in rural areas.

Aims of the State of Sanitation project: Multiple agencies have assessed the status of the rural sanitation programme and have quantified its benefits over time. However, there have been few attempts to provide an online, concurrent monitoring mechanism to track the status of both the implementation of the scheme and the larger benefits from the scheme.

To this end, the project will:The State of Sanitation Project is supported and run by Arghyam

  • Design monitoring tools – this will include:
      • Online tools that help demystify government data and provide overlays between multiple data sets relevant to sanitation. These tools will be opened up to civil society and provide context to the large data sets.
      • Participatory assessment tools that will attempt to qualify how the scheme is working and issues in implementation, usage and achievement of the rural sanitation scheme’s goals.
  • Identify best practices and gaps in implementation – this will include:
      • Ground verification of best practices and issues.
      • Focussed efforts to document good practices and problems.

For more queries or feedback, please contact us.

  • About the conferenceThe deliberations for the Roundtable have been designed to enumerate, appraise and understand the challenges of engaging with the issues of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The deliberations shall focus upon catalysing innovations for successful and sustainable impacts of WA...
    Sambodhiposted 3 years 9 months agoread more
  • Sanitation in India is at a critical juncture. The Indian government has been contemplating new strategies to deal with the country's sanitation crisis by making massive investments under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Introducing sanitation programmes that reflect user needs and preferences will be cri...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 9 months agoread more
  • A number of studies have linked water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions to improvements in health outcomes such as diarrhoeal diseases, helminth (parasitic worm) infections and childhood stunting. However, little work has been done to evaluate the effects of WASH interventions on adverse...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  • Stagnant puddles, which are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, follow the rains every year causing an increase in the incidence of water-borne diseases. Malaria is the third most common of these diseases in India after diarrhoea and typhoid. In 2014, the number of malaria cases in the count...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  • India's poor sanitation facilities have a direct correlation with stunting in childrenAccording to a recent report titled “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment” by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, 1 in 3 people in the world lack sanitaiton faciliti...
    swatiposted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  • New criteria for villages and Gram Panchayats to be termed Open Defacation Free The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has given a uniform definition to the term Open Defecation Free (ODF) to bring more clarity in the granting of ODF status to a Gram Panchayat or village. The two c...
    swatiposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) SBM (G) are the two flagship programmes of the government implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, a nodal Ministry responsible for the overall policy, planning, funding and coordinat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 week agoread more
  • The sanitation situation in rural India It has been realised that inadequate availability of drinking water and proper sanitation is the root cause of a number of diseases among populations in rural areas and can lead to even worse outcomes for the poor and vulnerable populations such as women and ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • “The Dalits of this country get access to water on the goodwill of the dominant caste. Water to untouchables is still miles away,” says Goldy M George, a Dalit activist and an expert on Dalit rights. Caste-based discrimination still persistsin India many years after independence, and access to ...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • A National Convention on Union Budget 2015-16 by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, New Delhi held on 8th and 9th January 2015 brought together around 200 Civil Society Organisations from more than 20 States to discuss the policy asks for water and sanitation sector. Civil society ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Evidence from India shows that open defecation continues to be common, and that a vast majority of the population from both urban and rural areas continue to have poor access to toilets. The paper titled 'Rethinking governance of public toilets: Lessons for Swacch Bharat from Hyderabad', published ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 4 months agoread more
  • On October 11, 2014, the Government of India launched an ambitious scheme for village development – the Saansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). The scheme requires ‘saansads’ or elected MPs to convert 3 villages in their constituency into ‘Adarsh Grams’ or model villages worthy of replication ...
    swatiposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • Thipramahadevi Pudhur is a village in Erumapatti Block, Namakkal District with 115 households. In July this year, this village was declared as ‘open-defecation free’ (ODF), something that was aided by Leaf Society, an organization based in Namakkal and their effective strategy of awareness gener...
    Divya Nposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • Dear India Water Portal - Team, I work as a volunteer for the German NGO United for Hope. We work primarily in the field of sanitation, namely toilet building and I am currently writing an article for the U.N. news agency IPS on the sanitation problem in India and our organization. Therefore, I wa...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • An interactive tool to monitor progress of toilet construction launched Water Aid India has launched a tool called 'Interactive Map' to monitor the progress of toilet construction under the Swacch Bharat Mission. The tool will track the construction of individual household toilets (IHHL) and commun...
    swatiposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Gujarat's data on toilets and drinking water facilities in schools need investigation: CAG The data provided by the Gujarat Government on the availability of toilet facilities and drinking water at primary schools in rural areas is unreliable, claims the Comptroller and Auditor General of Indi...
    swatiposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Have you ever complained about a toilet anywhere? Not so clean, not so dry, not so nice-smelling, not so something else? On November 19th 2014 and possibly every other day this year and forever after, thank your stars that you have one because 2.5 billion people in the world don't! World Toilet Day ...
    swatiposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Of late, there have been plenty of discussions around the topic of sanitation, which have focussed on building toilets on a massive scale. These are in the aftermath of the new and recently released Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 by the United Nations that shows that India has the wor...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Nandatai and her 16 year old daughter Phula creep out of their houses quietly in the wee hours of the morning into the dark fields to relieve themselves before everyone wakes up. It is an everyday story as this is the only time in the day that they have privacy. “It is so shameful to go out in the...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Since the rebranding of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan to the Swach Bharat Mission, newspapers have been flooded with articles and discussions on the need to improve the sanitation scenario in India. Also contributing to this is the new and recently released Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 by th...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 7 months agoread more

Pages

A hard-hitting documentary film ‘Kakkoos’ looks at the politics behind the banned practice of manual scavenging and how the civil society connives to keep it alive.

Kakkoos, a compelling documentary film on manual scavenging in Tamil Nadu is all about showing the practice as it is without any filter. The pictures are shocking and watching them is easier said than done -- toilets teeming with shit, sanitary napkins lying scattered, people collecting faeces with their uncovered hands, cleaning hazardous medical waste, handling maggot-ridden corpses and much more.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Despite having many water sources nearby, Chavadiyur hamlet in the Attappadi region is facing a drought-like situation, thanks to institutional failure.

In a tribal settlement called Chavadiyur in the Attappadi region in Kerala, the summer has begun. It is already facing severe water shortage. The scarcity of water in the region has been exacerbated by the significant decrease in rainfall during both the southwest and the northeast monsoons. The Chavadiyur settlement in Sholayur panchayat in the Attappadi region lacks even sufficient drinking water. 

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Toilet remains a luxury for most women in the developing world.

“Ikde Aa. Mi Tula Dakhavato.”

“Come here. I will show you” ‘Ajji’ (grandma) grabbed my hand firmly as she led me towards her humble dwelling. Her house was in shambles and a ghost of a toilet superstructure adjoined it.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

The land of gems will have a new government soon. We look at what leading political parties have to say about issues related to natural resources.

The key issue in the Manipur Assembly election is the ongoing economic blockade in the state, which, in turn, is attributed to the present government’s decision to bifurcate districts.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Budget 2017-18: Which social sector schemes and ministries got major shares of the pie? An analysis.

The much-anticipated budget this year treads largely on the path set last year with the rural sector receiving more allocation than its urban counterpart. On the surface, the budget indicates an increase in rural spending under the rural employment guarantee, sanitation, water resources and agriculture sectors and an unchanged outlay in drinking water despite its significance.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Sangrun village near Pune sets an example to all upstream villages by keeping its rivers pollution free.

Located about 27 km from the city of Pune, Sangrun in Haveli taluka is a unique village. Situated in the rocky terrains of the Sahaydri hills, the village is at the confluence of three rivers--Mose, Ambi and Mutha--often referred to by the villagers as the Triveni Sangam or a place where three rivers unite.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

The water and sanitation sector in India is in urgent need for funds to show results. The budget 2017-2018 should look into it.

According to a report by WaterAid, a water and sanitation nonprofit, released in 2016, India has the highest number (75.8 million) of people in the world without access to safe water. The report titled Water: At what cost?

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Policies that address the WASH need to acknowledge the presence of a glass curtain that curtails access to its appropriate gender and age-related services.

As night falls, women in Chempakaraman beach on the Pulluvila coastal belt in Thiruvananthapuram step out of their safe abode and leave for the open fields. The barking of stray dogs send a chill down their spine but still, these women brave the odds and venture into the darkness as it is an urgency. Yes, they are out to answer the call of nature and they know very well the dangers that lurk in the darkness.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

A study finds increased risk of sexual violence among women who defecate in the open due to lack of proper sanitation facilities.

While nearly half of the world’s population (42 percent) lacks access to improved sanitation conditions, India is the worst performer in sanitation coverage, even below those countries with half of the households (53 percent) not having access to toilets. At 49.8 percent, India has the highest number of people practising open defecation in the world.

Attachments

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Hello

I'm Vemanarayan working in a nationalized NGO called WASSAN where we work on WASH programmes, crop water budgecting and other livelihood resource development projects .

I am writing this mail to know the recent Guinness world records on sanitation in 2016 in rural areas.

What are the steps that we have to follow while applying for Guinness world records? Please let me know how much time will it takes and any other relevant data concerning it.

Thank you & Regards

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Rural Sanitation