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PIB Summaries 11 October 2023


  1. Shri Ramalinga Swamy
  2. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban

Shri Ramalinga Swamy


India celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of Shri Ramalinga Swamy, also known as Vallalar, on 5th October, 2023.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Contributions of Shri Ramalinga Swamy
  2. Philosophical Beliefs and Teachings

Key Contributions of Shri Ramalinga Swamy:

  • Shri Ramalinga Swamy was a prominent Tamil poet in the 19th century and a member of the “gnana siddhars” lineage.
  • He was born in the village of Marudhur in Tamil Nadu.
Vision of Social Reforms:
  • Vallalar’s vision transcends religious, caste, and creed barriers, recognizing divinity in every atom of the universe.
  • He strongly opposed the caste system and initiated the ‘Samarasa Vedha Sanmarga Sangam’ in 1865, later renamed ‘Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sathya Sangam.’
  • He established ‘The Sathya Dharma Salai,’ a free food facility in Vadalur, Tamil Nadu in 1867, serving all people without caste distinctions.
  • In January 1872, Vallalar opened the ‘Sathya Gnana Sabha’ (Hall of True Knowledge) in Vadalur.

Philosophical Beliefs and Teachings:

  • One of Vallalar’s primary teachings was “Service to Living Beings is the path of Liberation/Moksha.”
  • According to Suddha Sanmarga, the prime aspects of human life should be love, connected with charity and divine practice, leading to pure knowledge.
  • Vallalar believed that the intelligence possessed by humans is illusory (Maya) intelligence and not accurate or final.
  • He emphasized “Jeeva Karunyam” (Compassion for living beings) as the path of final intelligence.
  • He forbade killing animals for the sake of food and advocated feeding the poor as the highest form of worship.
  • He also believed that God in the form of Grace is the personification of Mercy and Knowledge, with Mercy being a path to God.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban


As a prelude to Swachh Bharat Diwas, the annual Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) fortnight was also organized by Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and Gramin between 15th Sept to 2nd Oct 2023.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U)
  2. Open Defecation Free (ODF) status

About Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U)

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) is a national campaign launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to promote cleanliness, sanitation, and waste management in urban areas in India. Here are the key points:

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 1.0:

  • The first phase focused on achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in urban areas by providing access to toilets and promoting behavioral change.
  • It successfully achieved the target, and all urban areas in India were declared ODF.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (2021-2026):

  • SBM-U 2.0 is the continuation of the first phase, aiming to go beyond ODF and focus on ODF+ and ODF++ status, as well as making urban areas garbage-free.
  • It emphasizes sustainable sanitation practices, waste management, and the promotion of a circular economy.
  • Urban India has become Open Defecation Free, with all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) declared ODF.
  • Many ULBs have achieved ODF+ and ODF++ status, ensuring functional and hygienic community and public toilets, as well as proper faecal sludge management.
  • Waste processing has significantly increased, with 75% of waste being processed in 2023 compared to 17% in 2014.
  • Door-to-door waste collection is practiced in 97% of wards, and source segregation of waste is prevalent in almost 90% of wards across all ULBs.
  • The Garbage Free Cities (GFC)-Star rating protocol has been implemented, with the aim of having at least 1,000 3-star GFCs by October 2024.
  • The budget for 2023-24 emphasizes the scientific management of dry and wet waste, reinforcing India’s commitment to building a circular economy.

Open Defecation Free (ODF) status

Open Defecation Free (ODF) status is a designation given to an area when there is no open defecation observed in that area. Here are the definitions of different ODF statuses:

  • ODF: An area can be declared as ODF if, at any point of the day, there is no instance of open defecation, meaning no person is found defecating in the open.
  • ODF+: This status is achieved when, at any point of the day, no person is found defecating or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets in the area are functional, well-maintained, and accessible to the community.
  • ODF++: This status is an advanced level of ODF+. To achieve ODF++ status, an area must already be ODF+ and demonstrate safe management and treatment of faecal sludge/septage and sewage. There should be no discharging or dumping of untreated faecal sludge and sewage into open drains, water bodies, or other areas.

December 2023