Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan got the largest chunk of contributions from one PSU and two private sources out of a total of Rs 777.4 crore that it received in five years. As of the latest data, Kerala-based charitable organisation Mata Amritanandamayi Math contributed Rs 100 crore to the Swachh Bharat Kosh and technology and construction firm Larsen & Toubro donated Rs 60 crore to the fund, according to an RTI filed by The Indian Express. PSU Power Finance Corporation also made a contribution of Rs 49.24 crore, the newspaper reported. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched by PM Modi himself in 2014 with the aim to make the country Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019.
However, the least funding was received from foreign sources despite the government’s efforts to attract foreign money. The scheme received a total of just over Rs 13 lakh in five years from the Indian diaspora even when the government provided incentives on funding from abroad, according to the data by the Department of Expenditure under the Finance Ministry, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the government’s initiative has captured the fancy of many international organisations and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also honoured by billionaire Bill Gates’ foundation for his work towards making India ODF by 2019. In fact, according to the UNICEF estimate, the investments that the government made in sanitation in India are bringing a whopping 400% return. According to the same estimates, each rural household in an open-defecation-free village save Rs 50,000 by avoiding medical costs and time savings. The initiative has also created jobs for lakhs. “It is fairly clear now that investment in sanitation is actually a facilitator for broader economic, health and social gains,” Parameswaran Iyer, secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, wrote in The Indian Express.
Source: Financial Express