ARVIND PANAGARIYA
VICE CHAIRMAN, NITI AAYOG
"Sanitation is multidimensional concept, with components ranging from clean surroundings to ending open defecation to creating sustainable waste management infrastructure and creating awareness which fosters behavioral change. With a problem as vast in scope as this, the amalgamation of efforts of the different stakeholders of the country, to collectively tackle this issue, becomes an imminent imperative. The vision of the India Sanitation Coalition, which recognizes the need of joint action, aligns with the Government's priorities under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The idea of engaging State Governments to create quantifiable and replicable templates of outcomes is encouraging and an important stepping stone in this exercise. A variety of hurdles on the implementation front need to be tacked while progressing on the path of addressing India's sanitation challenges. There is a need to create robust institutional mechanisms, enable technological support and examine models for participation for different stakeholders. Financial hurdles can be overcome by developing business models for different components. I am happy that the identified taskforces in the coalition aim to work in the lines of addressing these barriers. A lot of commendable efforts are being made in our country in terms of innovative ideas or best case examples, but most of them exist in silos. I applaud this effort being made by the India Sanitation Coalition to weave together and give direction to the efforts that are underway in the sanitation space in India. I hope that this coalition delivers concrete outputs and helps the country work towards a sustainable solution to the sanitation problem in India. We would then be able to make the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi a memorable one indeed. I wish this initiative all the success!