Chhattisgarh to become Open Defecation Free in 2018, Says Raman Singh

India CSR News Network

RAIPUR: Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh said that Chhattisgarh will become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the end of 2018 itself, while the Swachh Bharat target for the country is October 2019.

To encourage behaviours, Chhattisgarh has decided to give preference to its ODF blocks in schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for distribution of LPG connections, he added, to incentivize more blocks and districts to achieve ODF status.

He was speaking at a 2-day Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) National Conclave organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Raipur for District Collectors and officers from the Phase 1 focus districts for SBM.

The Chief Minister went on to stress the importance of involving women and children as the ambassadors for SBM, adding that girls in Chhattisgarh have started keeping the presence of a toilet as a pre-condition for marriage into a family.

Speaking at the workshop via Video Conference, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor, Kiran Bedi spoke at length about the need for politicians and bureaucrats to be in touch with the real sanitation situation on the ground to make any impact. For this, she said, she had herself removed the sirens and beacons from her own car and driven around Puducherry to experience the harsh reality of open defecation.

She gave the administrators the mantra “Walk The Shit”, asking them to step out early morning and go to the fields to experience the harsh reality of open defecation and be jolted into decisive action to change these unsanitary behaviours.

One of the highlighted activities undertaken during the workshop was a #MySBMidea contest. Districts shared best practices and innovative ideas deployed by them in sanitation, and the best idea was selected by means of a Twitter contest using the hashtag #MySBMidea. The idea that won the contest was “Tippy Tap”, a hands free way to wash hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. Details of this low cost technology can be found on the website

The workshop was a interactive exercise, with extensive sharing of ideas and good practices. In particular, several districts of Chhattisgarh made presentations to share their behaviour change innovations in general and the community incentive approach adopted in the State in particular.

“There is a silent revolution going on in Chhattisgarh and the State’s commitment to SBM is an example for the entire country. The Ministry plans to organize more such events in the coming days to accelerate rapid learning and sharing across States,” said the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer in his closing remarks.

Twitter Handle: @drramansingh