Amitabh Bachchan Stars in ‘Darwaza Band-Part Two’ to Sustain Sanitation Gains

New Delhi:

The Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen today launched the ‘Darwaza Band -Part 2’ campaign which focuses on sustaining the open defecation free status of villages across the country.

The campaign, produced by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, was launched in Mumbai in the presence of iconic actor Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Maharashtra’s Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Babanrao Lonikar, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer and other dignitaries and representatives of the Mission’s development partners.

The event was also attended by the Zila Parishad members from Maharashtra. The ‘Darwaza Band- Part 2’ campaign has been supported by the World Bank and is being rolled out countrywide immediately after the launch.

Speaking at the event, Bachchan gave a brief background to the development of the campaign and mentioned that the campaign talks about how a toilet must be used by all, always and under all circumstances (har koi, har roz, hamesha). He also congratulated the Swachh Bharat Mission for the transformational role it has played in ridding the country of filth and open defecation. He also dedicated a re-adaptation of a poem of his father Late Harivansh Rai Bachchan to the Swachh Bharat Mission – “Swachh Tann, Swachh Mann, Swachh Bharat, Mera Parichay”.

Lonikar spoke about the achievement of ODF status in Maharashtra being a tribute to the State’s commitment to the Prime Minister’s flagship programme. He said that the Centre and State together had spent over Rs. 6000 crores on sanitation in Maharashtra and over three crore people have stopped defecating in the open in the state. He further said that all attempts have been made by the state to make this into a true Jan Andolan and reaffirmed Maharashtra’s commitment to sustaining the gains achieved in the past four years. He thanked Amitabh Bachchan for his constant support and said that his endorsement will further inspire the youth of the nation to sustain the SBM.

Speaking at the launch, Secretary MDWS Iyer announced that over 50 crore people stopped defecating in the open since the launch of the SBM and with over 5.5 lakh villages having already been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), the national sanitation coverage is now in excess of 98%, compared to 39% in 2014. He highlighted that the primary focus of the programme is on behaviour change and promoting sustainable usage of toilets, at both community and village levels. He thanked Shri Bachchan for his continued support to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen, including during the first phase of the Darwaza Band campaign, and said that the Darwaza Band- Part 2 focuses on ensuring that people’s behavior is changed for good and everyone always uses a toilet.

Hisham Abdo Kahin, Manager, Operations, New Delhi Office, World Bank spoke about World Bank’s longstanding association with the Swachh Bharat Mission in his welcome address. He said that India’s commitment and progress on improving sanitation was unprecedented in the World and that India had achieved in five years what many of the much smaller countries took over 40 years to achieve.

Three “Darwaza Band Part 2” films were launched by Bachchan. These will be aired across various television channels over the next few weeks in various regional languages. There will also be radio jingles, outdoor publicity and digital campaigns aired under the campaign.