Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra 

#GS2 #Schemes 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra – an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission. 

  • A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister on 10th April 2017, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji’s Champaran Satyagraha. 

What is ‘Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra’? 

  • The RSK has a balanced mix of digital and outdoor installations tracking India’s transformation from having over 50 crore people defecating in the open in 2014 to becoming open defecation free in 2019. 
  • The facility is a tribute to Gandhi’s efforts for a swachh (clean) India. It will mostly cater to tourists and schoolchildren, to educate them about the Swachh Bharat Mission. 
  • From portrayals showing Gandhi with students, to women or ‘ranimistris’ building toilets and PM Modi’s 2014 address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, outdoor art installations in the facility educate visitors about the mission’s journey. 
  • The Rashtriya Swachhta Kendra has been built in the last five months at a cost of around Rs 5 crore. It will be a part of schoolchildren’s guided tours to the Rajghat. Entry will be free for children. 
  • On this occasion, the Prime Minister launched ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’, a special week long campaign for swachhata in the run up to Independence Day, during which each day till 15th August will have special swachhata initiatives in urban and rural India to re-enforce the jan andolan for swachhata. 

Important statistics  

  • According to the UNICEF, 36 states and union territories, 706 districts and over 603,175 villages have been declared open defecation free as of January 2020.  
  • The UNICEF website also says, “500 million people have stopped defecating in the open since 2014, down from 550 million to less than 50 million today.” 
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