A recent study by UNICEF has concluded that the Swachh Bharat Mission has led to a reduction in groundwater contamination in India.
The study based its conclusion on ground reports from three states – Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal.
According to the study, groundwater samples from these states suggested that villages not free of open defecation were 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated with faecal matters as compared to open defecation free villages.
The study commissioned by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched on World Environment Day and aimed at assessing the environmental impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission in rural India.
Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who released the report said that a similar study by WHO conducted in 2018 had estimated that the Swachh Bharat mission will save over 3 lakh lives by the time India is Open Defecation Free.
It should be noted that the Swachh Bharat Mission was one of the flagship programmes launched by the Narendra Modi government.