Swachhata Ratham to keep vigil on open defecation

Swachhata Ratham to keep vigil on open defecation
Highlights

With an objective of creating the habit of using toilets among villagers, the district rural development agency (DRDA) has embarked on an innovative campaigning. Every day at the daybreak, a vehicle called ‘Swachhata Ratham, carrying a drum beater, officials, local elected representative and others, rushing to a select village and getting hold of those going out to attend nature’s call. Then couns

Kamalapur (Warangal Urban): With an objective of creating the habit of using toilets among villagers, the district rural development agency (DRDA) has embarked on an innovative campaigning. Every day at the daybreak, a vehicle called ‘Swachhata Ratham, carrying a drum beater, officials, local elected representative and others, rushing to a select village and getting hold of those going out to attend nature’s call. Then counselling is given to that person explaining the harms of defecating openly.

“The open defecation prevention campaign aims at both to prevent the unhealthy practice and to educate the rural masses on the importance of using toilets,” said DRDA Project Director Thoutam Ramu.

The district accomplished status of the first open defecation free (ODF) district in the State. The status is given for completing construction of a total of 22,429 individual sanitary latrines (ISLs) under six mandals under two schemes - SBM and Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS).

‘Besides having a toilet, what it is important is making the individuals to use them. That is why we have launched the campaign. According to an assessment, nearly 90 per cent villagers are using the ISLs they have,’ Ramu told The Hans India on Thursday.

It is our aim to make 100 per cent population in Warangal Urban district uses ISLs and stays away from open defecation. We are touring the villages in between 4 am to 6 am along with local sarpanch, members of Mahila Samakhyas and EGS staff.

The persons found going out are taken back to their homes in the vehicle. In the presence of their family members they are given counselling by presenting a sapling and planting it near their ISL. The family members are asked not to let those persons again to go outside for defecation, Ramu explained. There is a good response from individuals. Many promised to quit their habit of open defecation and use toilets at home. Interactions with local youth are being conducted and they asked to form committees to conduct inspections during morning and evening hours to preventing the practice, he noted.

The campaigning will be continued till everyone in the villages is habituated to using toilets, he added. It may be noted that in November 2017, Warangal Urban has been declared the first open defecation free (ODF) district in the State and fared better in Swachhata Darpan phase-II ranking under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) for maintaining cleanliness in the villages.

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