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  • In Pics: How India Is Celebrating ‘Freedom From Open Defecation’ Week

In Pics: How India Is Celebrating ‘Freedom From Open Defecation’ Week

To create awareness on ill-effects of open defecation and to make India an open defecation free country by 2019, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is organising a week long 'Khule Mein Shauch Se Azaadi' (Freedom From Open Defecation) programme from August 9 to 15. Under the initiative, several activities relating to sanitation and cleanliness will be conducted across India to mark the 70th year of Independence. Around 24 states across India have come forward to participate in the programme, and prepared their Swachhta Action Plan. Here's what the different states across India have been doing to reinforce their Swachhta efforts by innovative methods and with community engagement.

As part of the 'Freedom From Open Defecation' programme, a Swachhta drive was organised in Malda district of West Bengal. The aim of the drive was to promote the importance of sanitation, hygiene and clean drinking water among the people.

Over 10,000 students and government employees formed a human chain in Koppal district of Karnataka, in an effort to promote the message of Swachhta.

On August 9, the 'Khule Mein Shauch Se Azaadi' programme was launched in various parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Notably, a number of Swachhta Raths were flagged off across the state to spread the message of sanitation and hygiene. The social activity to clean up the surroundings was also carried out at different places.

The Palwal district of Haryana organised a candle march as a part of their celebration of 'Freedom from Open Defecation' week. Also, the school kids from Bhiwani keenly participated in the initiative. Notably, Haryana was the fourth state to achieve the target of ODF by constructing more than 5, 80,000 individual toilets in 22 districts of the state.

A number of sanitation awareness programmes were carried out at state, district, block and village level in Punjab. The Punjab Water Supply & Sanitation Minister, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said the target is to make rural Punjab open defecation free by the end of this year. The government is carrying out awareness programmes against ill effects of open defecation through student rallies, seminars, interpersonal communication programmes, folk performances, street theatre, puppet shows, video vans, and also fairs and exhibitions.

In Sikkim, a number of programmes were organised by schools to spread the message of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. As part of the programme, a cleanathon drive, along with cultural extravaganzas and speeches were conducted. Also, the Block Development Officers highlighted the issues related to open defecation and talked about plausible solutions. Notably, a volleyball tournament was also organised at Rumtek School.

Bihar organised a swachhta sabha and kathputli show to celebrate the 'Freedom from Open Defecation' week. Women keenly participated in the initiative by taking out a procession to promote the message of construction and the usage of toilets. Along with this, bicycle rallies, nukkad natak and various other Swachhta activities also took place in various parts of the state.

As part of #FreedomFromOpenDefecation week celebrations, Swachhta lamps were lit at every toilet door in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. The Swachhagrahis along with district officials participated in the Swachh Bharat awareness rallies and also took the pledge to work towards becoming an open defecation free state.

To celebrate the 'Freedom from Open Defecation' week, a painting competition was held in the in the schools of Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. This was done to make the students, teachers and workers understand the importance of sanitation.

Various awareness activities were conducted across the state and people actively participated in the initiative. Here seen are people from Telangana doing their bit to make the state open defecation free.

A cycle swachhta rally was flagged off to raise awareness and celebrate the ?Freedom from Open Defecation' week in Jalore district of Rajasthan.

168 Mukhiyas and Sakhi Mandal members of Bokaro district in Jharkhand participated in the observance of the #FreedomFromOpenDefecation week. Various awareness activities were carried out across the state to spread the message of having a toilet.

Swacchta rallies were launched in Jammu and Kashmir to highlight the issues pertaining to open defecation as a part of the observance.

On August 12, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Aditya Nath launched 24 Adarsh Ganga Grams and 30 Swachhta Raths at Ganga Gram Sammelan at Allahabad. The Chief Minister along with Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, addressed the gathering at Ganga Gram Sammelan on the need for saving Ganga for the survival of mankind.

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