Hyderabad: A study published in the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health has revealed that only 25.98 per cent people participated in the Swachh Bharat Mission while 85.78 per cent of the population in the rural areas of Nalgonda district of Telangana were aware about it.
The scheme had raised the bar of awareness but very few people actually practiced it. Those who disposed solid waste in community bins and used soap for washing their hands were still limited in number, the study said.
A total of 328 households in different parts of Nalgonda were interviewed and it was found that 62.2 per cent people had heard of the SBA. Of this 81.8 per cent were literate and they felt that people must actively participate in the SBA activities. It was found that 76.08 per cent people believed that SBA helped in the development of the country and 54.3 per cent people felt that it had brought changes at the ground level.
There is a positive perception among people but those who actually practice it are limited. There were only 34.57 per cent people who disposed waste in community bins while others continued to throw waste in the open, despite awareness.
In rural areas, there exists a positive perception about the scheme but 22 per cent of the population felt that it was only for political gain and not for the benefit of people. In India, 53 per cent of the households or 600 million people defecate in the open of which 69.3 per cent are from rural areas and 18.6 per cent are from urban areas.
This is one of the major reasons for diarrheal diseases in the country. Addressing the issue through the SBA was the main goal of the government as health and sanitation go hand in hand. The rural areas are the primary target as changes in these areas will help to reduce the burden of diarrheal diseases.