New Delhi: Come October 2, which is also celebrated as Rashtriya Swachhta Divas, in the list of open defecation free (ODF) districts of India, one more name will be added –Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh will be free from the age-old tradition of Open Defecation. But, what makes this achievement special is the fact that the villagers of round 7 Gram Panchayats, here have constructed toilets using their own money and have not taken money from the government. On the other hand, 6 Gram Panchayats returned approximately Rs 60 lakh to the government, which they got as subsidy to facilitate construction of toilets.
For villagers of Bijnor, a toilet is equally important and as basic necessity as consuming food regularly. The district has constructed around 1,65,000 toilets, and all the 1128 gram panchayats have appealed to the Zilla Panchayat for an ODF certificate. Currently, the district is undergoing a verification process in order to get the ODF title and certificate by the central government.
To get the open defecation certificate the district has to undergo a three step process, first is the self-declaration by the district followed by state and central officials coming to verify the tag and third is the third party verification by the Quality Council of India, says the district officer of Bijnor.
The district is at the second stage of verificationn and aims to complete the process by October 2 in order to get the ODF certificate on Gandhi Jayanti which will also mark three years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Till now the government has constructed around 4.7 crore toilets and the target is to build around 11 crore toilets by 2019.