- Rural Gujarat aims to go Open Defecation Free by October 2, 2017
- Gujarat now aims to achieve ODF Plus status
- The state will introduce a new concept of ‘Rurban’ now
New Delhi: On October 2, the Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, Gujarat declared its rural parts open defecation free. Last year, on the same day, Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and all the cities and towns in Gujarat achieved the tag of Open Defection Free (ODF). By making state’s rural areas ODF, Gujarat became the 6th state of India after Sikkim, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand to achieve the mammoth task of being 100 per cent free from open defecation.
Today, the state has around 171 cities, 18 thousand (18,071) villages and 31 districts that are free from the age-old tradition of open defecation. Till date, more than 4 lakh (4,74,893) individual toilets and 17 thousand (17,071) community toilets have been constructed in Urban parts of Gujarat. Whereas in rural areas more than 30 lakh (31,07,225) toilets have been built.
With sanitation coverage of 55.95 per cent in 2014, Gujarat rural areas have worked night and day to achieve 100 per cent by the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (October 2, 2017). There are many people in Gujarat who have been spearheading a social revolution in the state – One such example is of students from Gujarat Technological University (GTU). Around 6,000 students came together and built 9,000 toilets in 107 villages of Gujarat that to in a weeks’ time span.
Another story of true heroism and humanity is of a professor from Ahmedabad University, Gujarat – Dr Jyoti Lamba, when she discovered that many villages in her state lack the basic necessity – a toilet, and she started building toilets for them, often at her own expenses. In four years, she constructed around 6,000 toilets in 34 villages of Gujarat.
Then there is also an innovator and social entrepreneur in the state, Binish Desai who is known for designing bricks made out of waste produced by paper mills. Till today, the entrepreneur has constructed 600 toilets and has recycled more than 400 tonnes of industrial waste in the state.
ODF Done, Now Gujarat Aims For ODF Plus Tag
ODF Plus refers to total sanitation coverage – it simply does not mean construction of toilets, but, its sustainability by providing adequate liquid water supply, improved sewerage lines, storm water drains and pucca cement roads. After rural areas of Gujarat get the title of Open Defecation Free this Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, it will start working on getting ODF plus tag.
From Open Defecation To The Cleanest State
Apart from improving its sanitation coverage in rural areas, Gujarat, also managed to emerge as the country’s cleanest state. In the recently held Swachh Survekshan 2017 which assessed 434 cities across India, 30 cities were from Gujarat, in fact, it had 12 cities in the Top 50. Last year, Gujarat had just three cities in the Swachh ranking list.
From October 2, Gujarat Will Take Steps For A ‘New’ India
Since, the state has accomplished 100% sanitation target, now it is taking another step by introducing the concept of ‘Rurban’ – a term coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make rural areas equipped with urban facilities. Starting October 2, 3311 villages will have two separate systems for disposals of solid waste and wet-dry garbage, which would be utilised for recycling and making compost fertilizer. The compost fertilizer will then generate an income source for village panchayats and the local developmental work will also get a new direction.