- The State of Kerala today became the third State overall and the largest State so far to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Gramin).
- The declaration was formally made by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, in a magnificent ceremony at the Central Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. Shri Vijayan also distributed awards to and felicitated district collectors and other government officials who had been instrumental in bringing about this landmark achievement for the State.
- With this, all 14 districts, 152 blocks, 940 Gram Panchayats and 2117 villages of the State have been declared free from open defecation.
- Freedom from open defecation has been proven to lead to significant health benefits in terms of incidences of water-borne diseases, especially in children, and provide safety and dignity for all, especially women and senior citizens.
- Kerala, with a rural population of approximately 3.5 crores, is also the largest State so far to have achieved the ODF Status, after Sikkim (~6 lakhs) and Himachal Pradesh (~70 lakhs).