Without emphasizing on behavioral change the idea of Clean India seems elusive. Critically examine while highlighting innovative measures by various states to focus on attitudinal change.
One of the major reason behind the poor implementation of various policy initiatives is lack of emphasis on the behavioral change aspect. For example, various surveys report that despite having toilets, people defecate in open, as they don’t think using a toilet is good for their health. So just constructing toilets will not be enough, policy should also emphasize on attitudinal change.
Similarly, despite various initiatives regarding waste management, they are not successful, as these initiatives do not focus on behavioral aspect.
Most of the states do not invest adequate funds towards awareness generation and behavior change communication. However, some states have taken various initiatives such as Indore’s ‘Roko And Toko’ initiatives to stop open defecation. Under this group of schoolchildren, spread the message by beating metal boxes loudly. This initiative is successful as it involves members of the very community it is seeking to change. Another example is Project Baala, which is spreading menstrual Awareness along with sanitation and environment sustainability as poor menstrual hygiene is responsible for almost 70 percent of reproductive diseases in India and untreated sanitary waste leads to the problem of solid waste management. Similarly, a Pen Drive’ was launched by artist Lakshmi Menon in Kerala. The initiative uses art and literature to educate people about the threat that plastic pens pose to the environment. Various states are using Panchayati Raj institutions, schools and innovative measures like dance and dramas to generate awareness.
The success of the Clean India Campaign is associated with public participation. It depends on changing people’s attitudes towards cleanliness. Changing habits and attitudes towards sanitation and hygiene are crucial to the success of the sanitation mission.
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