Building toilets is easy. It is persuading people to use them that is turning out to be the tricky part.
With the 2019-deadline for its ambitious Swachh Bharat mission drawing close, the Centre has set up a panel of ministers to come up with a communication campaign to rope in people as partners for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project.
The high-powered committee, chaired by Union finance and information and broadcasting minister, Arun Jaitley, will map and monitor the communication strategy and its implementation for the Ganga Rejuvenation programme as well.
The revised advocacy and outreach campaigns are targeted at influencing behaviourial changes that in turn will accelerate the pace of both missions, officials explained. Innovative media campaigns across platforms and educational tools will be used to improve people’s participation.
While the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to make India 100% open-defecation and manual-scavenging-free, with modern waste management methods by 2019, periodic reviews of the programme have shown that the government has fallen short of relaying the core target of the mission.
“The objectives have not translated into action. Getting people on board is imperative for the success of the projects,” an official said. Heads of the media units of the government have also be roped in for the mission.
Since both programmes are an inter-ministerial initiative, the high-powered committee also has the task of allocating resources from different ministries for an integrated multimedia campaign.