The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2nd October 2014 by the honourable Prime Minister to perpetuate the habit of hygiene and cleanliness.
Amethi is one of the districts making efforts to stop open defecation.
Toilets As Rakhi Gift
854 men from different blocks of Amethi district decided to build toilets for the women there using their own resources. The Chief Development Officer of Amethi, Apurva Dubey, informed that these men had registered themselves as the proverbial ‘brothers’ with the district committee. They gave a unique present the women of the district during Raksha Bandhan, a toilet.
The district committee for sanitation includes the Chief Development Officer, District Magistrate and the DPRO. Districts around the country are choosing several such measures to combat the menace of open defecation. The Zila Swachhta Samiti (district committee for sanitation) of Amethi district had started a programme named ‘Anokhi Amethi Ka Anokha Bhai’.
Rewards For the Efforts
Mr Dubey said that a team of officials will inspect the construction of toilets. After which, three participants will be awarded through a lucky draw. The winners will be felicitated at a district-level programme with cash prizes of up to Rs 50,000 and mobile phones.
Defecating in the open has both social and health concerns. Waste lying in the open becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and other antigens which lead to health issues for the individual as well as the community.
Open defecation undermines the dignity of all individuals, especially women. They try to reach hidden, unmanned, open areas, at odd hours to answer nature’s call which puts their life and dignity at risk.
Leveraging A Cultural Event
Raksha Bandhan is a festival where brothers reiterate their promise for protecting the dignity and the honour of their sisters in whatever way possible. It is in this context that Anokhi Amethi Ka Anokha Bhai becomes important. This cultural event has been leveraged to drive the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Till date, 4,60,65,333+ household toilets have been built across the country with 169 open defecation-free (ODF) districts and 5 ODF states. Communities, district management officers, individuals, and volunteers have come up with creative ways to stop the stigma of open defecation. Amethi’s Raksha Bandhan gift was another feather in the cap.