Ministers and sanitation sector leaders from around the world will come together this month at the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) in New Delhi. Hosted by the Government of India, this 4-day event will be an opportunity for participating countries to share sanitation success stories and best practices. The convention will culminate on 2nd October with the launch of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth year celebrations, and will also mark the beginning of the final year of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission — the intensive behaviour change campaign launched on October 2nd 2014 by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi.
The number of people practicing open defecation in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014, to less than 150 million today through the progress made under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Today, SBM has become a massive country-wide people’s movement, placing India on track to achieve open defecation free (ODF) status by 2019. This revolutionary people’s movement will continue to significantly contribute to the global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.
As the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Modi stated at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in 2015, “Much of India’s development agenda is mirrored in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our national plans are ambitious and purposeful; sustainable development of one-sixth of humanity will be of great consequence to the world and our beautiful planet.”
The Convention, which begins on Saturday, 29 September, will include plenary sessions and technical sessions, as well as an exhibition of global sanitation innovations. The participating dignitaries will also be taken on a Gandhi Trail, including visits to places of significance to Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
Swachh Bharat Mission
Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to over 93% as of September 2018. Over 85 million household toilets have been constructed under the Mission. As a result, 21 States/Union Territories, over 450 districts, and 450,000 villages have declared themselves free from open defecation.
For more information on the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention and the Swachh Bharat Mission:
Website: mgisc.gov.in, Twitter: @SwachhBharat, Facebook: facebook.comsbmgramin
Social media tags: #SwachhBharat, #MGISC
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