The forested state of Chhattisgarh in central India has been long deprived of basic cleanliness and hygiene infrastructure, and a lot of its people have been living in homes that do not have toilets. But now, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or the Clean India mission is making Chhattisgarh open defecation free.
The state government of Chhattisgarh has achieved to make 8,582 of its villages Open Defecation Free (ODF) as part of its objective of making the state completely ODF by 2018. The government also announced 4,869 gram panchayats (village level self-government), 33 development blocks and two districts (out of 27) as ODF.
The state government is pacing up to make Chhattisgarh Open Defecation Free under the wings of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or the Clean India mission. The mission aims at making a clean India by Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019.
“The Prime Minister’s ‘Clean India Mission’ (rural) is yielding exciting results in the state. Within just about two years of launch of the drive, we have made two districts along with 33 development blocks open defecation free,” a senior official from Chhattisgarh’s Panchayat and Rural Development Department said.
Chhattisgarh has 10,971 gram panchayats and 8,582 villages, of which 4,869 gram panchayats have so far been declared as ODF. The target is to cover the remaining 11,127 villages of 6,102 gram panchayats by October 2, 2018, he said.
The official also said that bedsides the 90 Vidhayak Adarsh Grams (adopted by legislators in their constituency to develop into model villages), 67 villages have been declared as ODF. Under Saansad Adarsh Gram scheme, 15 model villages have also been made Open Defecation Free.
“Notably, the centre has set the target under ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ to declare the entire country as ODF by November 2, 2019, but Chief Minister Raman Singh is expecting to achieve the target a year before, in 2018, in the state, keeping in view the enthusiastic response from people towards the mission,” the official said.
According to official statistics, under both ‘Clean India Mission’ and the MNREGA scheme atleast 1,579,102 households (in rural areas) have been refurbished with washrooms. Around INR 4.97 billion have been spent in the current and previous financial years for the purpose, the official said.
To further push the developments, public is being made aware of the need to build and use toilets. Campaigns are being organised across villages and women and school children are being educated on the same. Panchayats and rural development officials are also to work towards improving public health.