Centre deploys sanitation messengers nationwide [Health]
- The Ministry of Urban Development has deployed Swachh Dhoots (sanitation messengers) to boost its campaign against open defecation, a practice widely spotted in low-income urban centres.
- In early March, the Ministry asked the urban local bodies of 75 cities to build selfhelp groups, including ASHA workers, in every municipality and send them to the neighbourhoods where open defecation is a norm.
- Swachh Dhoots would be chosen to turn the campaign into a hyper-local one.
- The idea is to make people anxious and disgusted at excreting in public spaces.
- Launched in October 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swachh Bharat Mission is aimed at bridging the gaps between sewerage and solid waste management and constructing several million toilets in urban centres.
- The government aims to build 1.4 crore household toilets, 2.5 lakh community toilets and 2.6 lakh public toilets by 2019 with Rs.14, 623 crore.
- One of the primary goals is to make India an open defecation-free country, where people would have constant access to toilets at homes and public spaces.
- If a Swachh Dhoot succeeds in turning one area into defecation-free zone, the Ministry will reward him or her with Rs.5,000.