5 Toilets, 5 Marks: Andhra Pradesh To Involve Students To Make The State Open Defecation Free

5 Toilets, 5 Marks: Andhra Pradesh To Involve Students To Make The State Open Defecation Free

School students of class 8, 9 and 10 will identify five families in their vicinity and spend two Saturdays every month convincing them to build toilets and end open defecation in rural Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh, Features
- in Andhra Pradesh, Features
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5 Toilets, 5 Marks Andhra Pradesh To Involve Students To Make The State Open Defecation Free
Highlights
  • Urban Andhra Pradesh turned Open Defecation Free in October 2016
  • Rural Andhra Pradesh aims to go ODF by March 31, 2018
  • The state needs 21.6 lakh toilets more to end open defecation

New Delhi: Convince five households to construct toilets or use them regularly and get five extra marks. That’s the latest sanitation mantra adopted by the Swachh Andhra Pradesh Corporation (SAC). In a bid to make rural leg of the state open defecation free (ODF) by March next year, a deadline set by the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the (SAC) has sent proposals to all the schools of the state asking them to engage students of class 8, 9 and 10 in the ODF process. The rural development, panchayat raj and IT minister Nara Lokesh has asked the SAC officials to implement this in all its 13 districts.

Talking to NDTV K.Suresh Babu, Chief Operating Officer, SAC says,

Under this scheme, students will have to identify or choose an area in their village. First they will have to convince their own parents to build a toilet at home, then move on to their neighbours or five houses they select and convince them to build a latrine at home. At the end of the exercise, if they get success in all the houses, five marks will be allotted to them. And to ensure there is toilet usage after construction they will have to regularly monitor it. Every student will have to dedicate two Saturdays every month and take sanitation rounds in their regions.

Along with the school students, college students will also be integrated in the mission. Medical students will cater to the health aspect of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by visiting local families and making them aware about open defecation, and how it can take a toll on one’s health. Engineering students will be roped in to come up with ideas for building low cost toilets. To increase awareness about sanitation and cleanliness in primary schools, Swachhta kits will be distributed among students.

Since primary school kids are too young to directly understand the problem of open defecation, we will distribute games like ‘snakes and ladders’ in which every ladder will have hygienic habits and every snake will have unclean practices, adds Mr Babu.

This isn’t the first time children from rural areas are being made an integral part of the Swachh Bharat in Andhra Pradesh. The collector of Vizianagaram District had personally penned letters to students of 41 government schools listing down the ways students could utilise their vacation to spread the message of cleanliness and build toilets at home. The letters encouraged the students to directly get in touch with the sarpanch from the village, or even the collector himself in case they needed assistance in building toilets. The impact of the initiative saw a rapid increase in number of toilets built in the district.

While urban Andhra Pradesh was declared ODF in October 2016, only two districts out of 13 have attained the ODF tag when it comes to rural areas. For rural Andhra to go ODF by March 31 next year, 21.6 lakh toilets more need to be built.

Also Read: Swachh Challapalli: This Andhra Pradesh Village Aims At 100% Sanitation In 1000 Days

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