The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on October 2 said it has disbursed Rs 12,298 crore so far under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) for construction of 3.29 crore household toilets. To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the development finance institution has launched a nationwide sanitation literacy campaign.
The campaign, which will continue till January 26, 2021, is aimed at creating awareness among rural populace towards adopting good hygiene and sanitation practices, a release said. Nabard said the campaign will support the government's SBM-G and Water, Sanitisation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes to enable the vulnerable rural communities to access better sanitation facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for greater awareness for better water, sanitisation and hygiene infrastructure and enhanced the significance of the Swachh Bharat Mission," Nabard Chairman G R Chintala said. This campaign will help engage with vulnerable communities that lack right sanitation facilities and identify further funding requirements, he said.
Under the campaign, Nabard will cover about 2,000 villages and map the sanitation needs of people. Based on the findings, it will develop a strategy to provide credit facilities, mainly for construction of household toilets. On Thursday, the development finance institution announced a special refinance facility to support the government WASH programme. It has earmarked Rs 800 crore for the purpose for the financial year 2020-21.
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