According to a report by ET, the coronavirus pandemic helped develop a sanitation and cleanliness consciousness. The outbreak of the pandemic, which has severely impacted the economy and livelihoods, however, has helped achieve some Swachh Bharat Mission goals in the following ways.
The government spent nearly Rs 4,000 crore under SBM towards information, education and communication to promote personal hygiene. But a noticeable behavioural change happened post the Covid-19 outbreak when people sought ways to avoid getting infected by maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing, also nudged by awareness campaigns.
Companies spanning sectors like FMCG, pharma, liquor and paints launched in record time a range of hygiene products such as hand washes, sanitisers, female hygiene products, face masks and surface sanitisers to cater to a sudden demand surge. This is expected to spike further as the lockdown eases and more people step outdoors.
Companies are taking a range of precautionary measures to prevent transmission of the virus at workplaces, from having most employees work from home to making changes in office design. The pandemic is changing the way companies are functioning and streamlining their cost structures.
The need for social distancing and personal hygiene is going to bring about several structural changes right from how people stand in a queue or get a haircut to flying or watching movies. The new institutional practices are likely to remain in place for a longer period of time, with some becoming a permanent feature of public life.