The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2017-18, conducted by an Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), has found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it. The NARSS also re-confirmed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status of 95.6% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF by various districts/states. The survey was conducted between mid-November 2017 and mid-March 2018 and covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States and UTs of India.
The key findings of NARSS 2017-18 are as follows:
77% of households were found to have access to toilets during the survey period
93.4% of the people who had access to toilets used them
95.6% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF were confirmed to be ODF. The remaining 4.4% villages also had sanitation coverage of over 95%
70% of the villages surveyed found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water
The IVA presented their findings to the Expert Working Group (EWG) constituted for oversight of NARSS, comprising representatives from organizations including the World Bank, UNICEF, Water Aid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, India Sanitation Coalition, Sulabh International, Knowledge Links, NITI Aayog, Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation. The EWG noted the satisfactory completion of the survey. Following this, the IVA submitted their provisional summary results report and raw data to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and the same have been uploaded and made publicly accessible on the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation website (mdws.nic.in).
The survey used the PPS (Probability Proportion to Size) sampling methodology. Data was collected using the Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) platform. The survey also covered schools, anganwadis and public/community toilets in these villages.
Since its launch in October 2014, the Swachh Bharat Mission, the world’s largest sanitation program, has changed the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage. 300 million people have stopped defecating in the open since the Swachh Bharat Mission began, down from 550 million at the beginning of the programme to about 200 million today. Over 6.5 crore toilets have been built across rural India under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Over 3.38 lakh villages and 338 districts have been declared ODF, along with 9 ODF States and 3 Union Territories, namely Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.