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The ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (SBA) or the ‘Clean India Mission’ was launched by the government of India on October 2nd, 2014 with the goal to improve the levels of hygiene and sanitation across the country. In this context, the mission is one of the largest social programmes in the world because of the huge population of India who are the intended beneficiaries of the mission.One of the main goals of the mission is to make India ‘open-defecation free'. According to a 2017 report of the government of India, around two lakh villages across India had become ‘open-defecation free’ because of the work done under the SBA. Furthermore, there has been substantial improvement in the levels of access to drinking water and the establishment of toilets in rural households. During the course of its implementation thus far, the mission has achieved an enhancement in the levels of cleanliness and sanitation facilities across the country. However, there is still a significant way to go before the goals of the mission are achieved in entirety.
In addition to the above, the issue of waste disposal remains a major challenge for the government.Around 60 million tonnes of garbage are generated in India on a daily basis and almost three-fourths of this waste is left undisposed and untreated. According to some reports, the amount ofgarbage produced by the urban parts of the country on a daily basis is estimated to increase to 170 million tonnes by 2040. Furthermore, the utilisation of the compost generated from the treatment of urban waste remains very low. Although the government has been engaging in various awareness and education initiatives to drive public participation and support in the implementation of the mission, there has been minimal shift in the attitudes and behaviours of people with regards to hygiene and sanitation, particularly in the rural areas.The print media plays a significant role in disseminating information and generating awareness amongst the people on various issues and campaigns. Therefore, this study is aimed at assessing and analysing the coverage of the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ by the national daily ‘Dainik Bhaskar'. In this context, the study has utilised the data analysis technique of 'Content Analysis’ to assess the impact generated by the aforementioned newspaper’s reporting of the SBA.
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