In order to create awareness about ‘Open Defaecation’ (OD) in rural and urdan areas, the Centre For Media Studies (CMS) and UNICEF organised a consultation on achieving ‘Open-Defaecation Free’ (ODF) Telangana on Wednesday.
Participants in the meeting included M Ram Mohan, Swachh Telangana Director (Gramin); Ramachandra Murthy, CEO, Sakshi TV; Murali, Secretary, MARRI; Rajamouli, Ex-Sarpanch and Sanitation Activist, Warangal; officials from UNICEF and other experts from the field of sanitation.
During the consultation, Water Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist from UNICEF, Hyderabad, Salathiel Nalli, through a presentation, informed about the statistics of OD in India. “The country records upto 6,96,000 neonatal deaths every year. Diarrhoea kills around 1,88,000 children under the of age of five years,” he said quoting a 2011 UNICEF report on OD.
Further, he explained that upto 62 million children are stunted in India, which reduces physical growth and mental development. Nalli also said that globally upto 60 per cent people defaecate on open roadside. “Clean water and sanitation are very important to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.
During the discussion, M Rama Mohan said that the community, elected representative, media person, District Collectors and other departments are the five levels in the society which are curial for the awareness of ODF programme. “Water and sanitation are two sides of same coin. Everyone talks about the construction of the toilets but output is not important, outcome is important,” he said.
Implementation of schemes
The government of Telangana launched the Swachh Telangana Mission with the goal of achieving a clean State by 2019. The main objective of this mission is providing sanitation and household toilets facilities with ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation systems for urban households in the State.
The main components of the Mission are construction of IHHLs including conversion of pit toilets into sanitary toilets and construction of community toilets for households wherever space is constraint.