Sikkim became the first State in India to achieve 100 percent sanitation coverage under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan Scheme on 9 February 2014. Sikkim achieved 100 per cent sanitation in rural and urban households, schools, sanitary complexes and Aanganwadi centres.
As per the latest progress report card released by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, all 610577 inhabitants in Sikkim have latrines with high sanitation and hygiene
The achievement is the result of the initiative that was launched way back in 1999. In 1999 Chief Minister Pawan Chamling launched the initiative for achieving full sanitation in 7096 sq km area of the state covering both rural and urban areas in all four districts of the State.
Besides, It was made mandatory for all Gram Sabhas to take up sanitation as a top priority on their agenda.
So far, 163 panchayats in the State have been conferred monetary rewards Nirmal Gram Puruskar for developing sufficient sanitation facilities of adequate quality in their respective areas.
According to a survey conducted in 20 gram panchayats by Planning Commission, 17 village councils of Sikkim were declared as ‘best performance panchayats’, which is highest in the country.
Sikkim also topped the list among all states of the country in net performance indicators.
In 2008, Sikkim become the first ever Nirmal Rajya of the country. The status was granted for achieving total sanitation coverage. Sikkim was awarded first-ever Nirmal Rajya Award.
In 1986, Union Government started the Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) primarily with the objective of improving the quality of life of the rural people and also to provide privacy and dignity to women.
CRSP adopted a demand driven approach with the name Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) with effect from 1999.
To give a fillip to the TSC, Government of India also launched the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) that sought to recognise the achievements and efforts made in ensuring full sanitation coverage.
Encouraged by the success of NGP, the TSC was renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA). The objective is to accelerate the sanitation coverage in the rural areas so as to comprehensively cover the rural community through renewed strategies and saturation approach.
The main objectives of the NBA are as under:
• Bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas.
• Accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Nirmal Bharat by 2022 with all gram Panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status.
• Motivate communities and Panchayati Raj Institutions promoting sustainable sanitation facilities through awareness creation and health education.
• To cover the remaining schools not covered under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Anganwadi Centres in the rural areas with proper sanitation facilities and undertake proactive promotion of hygiene education and sanitary habits among students.
• Encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
• Develop community managed environmental sanitation systems focusing on solid & liquid waste management for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.