Practice of environmental sanitation and hygiene in the light of “Swacha Bharat Abhiyan”: a study among female residents of rural Punjab, India

Sourabh Paul, Shyam Mehera, Gurirat Sidhu, Varun Malhotra, Tanvir K. Sidhu, Paresh Prajapati


Background: India has achieved the status of open defecation free (ODF) in 2019 October but women involvement in the actual process of implementation of the programme is very minimal. Objective of the study was to assess the awareness level & practice of environmental sanitation and hygiene and also to find out the association with demographic variables.

Methods: Present study was conducted in a rural community of Punjab, India in June 2019 among 400 females. Data was collected in a predesigned structured questionnaire and was analyzed using descriptive and analytic statistics.

Results: Most common source of drinking water among the participants was community RO point (54.5%) and method of SWD among the community was dumping (80%). Four out of five participants had the opinion that their village is unclean and improper solid waste disposal (37.3%) was the main reason. 95% of the participants had not participated in any community cleanliness activity also. Participants having higher educational status (p=0.0001), lower & middle class family (p=0.001) and member of small family (p=0.009) had heard significantly more about “Swacha Bharat Abhiyan”.

Conclusions: Policies need to be formulated that enable women to participate in the sanitation interventions. Special focus should be given young, educated women from middle and lower socio economic status so that they become the role model of the society.


Drinking water, Environmental sanitation, Hygiene, Swacha Bharat Abhiyan, Solid & liquid waste disposal

Full Text:



Ministry of drinking water & sanitation. Government of India. Guidelines for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Alam P, Ahmade K. Impact of solid waste on health and environment. International journal of Sustainable development and green economics 2013; 2 (I1):165-8.

Pathak N. Tata Education and development Trust. Evaluation of solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) technologies and examination of their impact on environment and employment. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Ministry of Drinking water and sanitation. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). Household toilet built. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

WHO. WHO guidelines on hand hygiene in health care. Religious and cultural aspects of hand hygiene. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Punjab pollution control board. Annual report by Punjab pollution control board to the central pollution control board for the period 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2017. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Jena AK. Effects of community sanitation programme on the awareness of environmental sustainability in Assam, India. International Quarterly of Community Health education. 2018;39(1):51-61.

Office of the Register general & census commissioner, India. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Primary census abstract data Tables – Punjab. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Dwivedi P, Sharma AN. A study on environmental sanitation, sanitary habit and personal hygiene among the Baigas of Samnapur Bloc of Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh. J Human Ecol. 2007;22:1:7-10.

Pandey VK, Aggarwal P, Kakkar R. Modified B G Prasad Socio economic Classification, Update -2019. Indian J Com Health. 2019;31(01):123-5.

Aarogya foundation of India Jharkhand Chapter. Impact assessment of Swacha Bharat Abhiyan project implemented by Aarogya foundation India in blocks of Jharkhand State. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Paliath S. Why much of India lacks access to safe drinking water, despite an ambitious government project. 2018. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Kailley S K, Virk H S. Uranium and heavy metal contamination of Sirhind canal water and groundwater in the Malwa belt of Punjab and its Mitigation strategies. Research and reviews: J Toxicol. 2020;10(1):34-41.

CFO India. [Home page on internet]. Punjab to install RO plants in 573 villages, c 2019- 20. [Cited March 17, 2020]. Available at: Accessed on 12 March 2020.

Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India. Jal Jeevan Mission. Household tap connections. 2020 Available at: Accessed on 12 April 2020.

Pai R Manjula MS. A descriptive study to assess the knowledge and practice regarding water, sanitation and hygine among women in selected villages of Udupi district. Nitte University J Health Sci. 2016;6(1):21-7.

Water Aid. Spotlight on hand washing in rural India. Findings from a study on hand hygiene related knowledge and practices in four Indian states.2017. Available at: Accessed on 10 April 2020.

Suthar P, Joshi NK, Joshi V. Study on the perception of Swacha bharat abhiyan and attitudes towards cleanliness among the residents of urban Jodhpur. J Family Med Prim Care. 2019;8(10):3136-9.

The World Bank. Water & sanitation Programme.2012. Handbook on Scaling up solid and liquid waste management in rural areas. Available at: Accessed on 10 April 2020..

Taru leading edge, New Delhi. Solid and liquid waste management for Garhi harsaru gram Panchayat. 2016 Available at: Accessed on 10 April 2020.

Swachha Bharat Mission (gramin). Govt of India. Technological options for solid and liquid waste management in rural areas. Ministry of drinking water and sanitation. 2015. Available at: Accessed on 10 April 2020.

Routray P, torondel B, Clasen T, Schmidt WP. Women’s role in sanitation decision making in rural coastal Odisha, India. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(5):e0178042.