New Delhi-An opinion piece titled The truth about Swachh Bharat was published in The Telegraph. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation would like to place on record its response to the claims made in the piece about the progress made under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) and the veracity of the findings of the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19.
The piece compares the nationwide 90240 household survey, NARSS, conducted in over 6000 villages, with a study of four states conducted by r i c e. that surveyed merely 1558 households in 157 villages in the four States. Surprisingly, the piece seems to attach greater credibility to this statistically insignificant and non-representative sample survey than the large-scale NARSS survey. It is relevant to mention here that the methodology and processes of NARSS have been developed and approved by an empowered and independent Expert Working Group (EWG) comprising leading experts on statistics and sanitation which include Prof. Amitabh Kundu, Dr N. C Saxena, World Bank, UNICEF, BMGF, Water Aid India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), among others. The EWG oversaw the entire survey process and some of the members also conducted field visits to validate the data collection process and do a thorough quality check on the results.