New Delhi: Jharkhand is now Open Defecation Free (ODF). On November 15, Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das declared rural areas of Jharkhand free from the practice of open defecation, at the foundation day function organised in the state. “Now, entire Jharkhand has achieved the ODF mission that too one year ahead of the national target. Now one can boast proudly of being a ‘Jharkhandi’,” said Chief Minister Das. Last year, on October 2, CM Raghubar Das announced the urban parts of the state free from open defecation and promised that by next year, even the rural parts of the state will join the ODF league.
The Chief Minister also added that now Jharkhand is second in the country in terms of development growth, fourth in ease of doing business and number one in achieving health reforms.
Jharkhand’s Swachh Journey
In 2014, Jharkhand had sanitation coverage of mere 28 per cent, whereas in rural areas it was just 18 per cent. With continuous efforts towards access to toilets and behavioural change, Jharkhand succeeded in achieving 100 per cent sanitation coverage in four years.
Highlighting few of the success stories of the state, CM Raghubar Das told NDTV on October 2 this year during the NDTV-Banega Swachh India Cleanathon,
To us, swachhta was never related to building toilets in the state, but was to achieve an overall goal of being a healthy state. We had a dream in mind and that was to provide safe sanitation to each and every women living in the state. Not just that, we had swachh officials within each district and villages to ensure that that people with access to toilets are also using them properly.
He further added,
In Jharkhand, we have trained more than 70,000 women on how to construct a toilet at home. There were many districts within the state that had acute shortage of masons to work as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin. So, all the stakeholders decided to create a pool of women masons, also called ‘Rani Mistris’.
Jharkhand’s ODF Mission By 2018
Along with the Rani Mistris, Jharkhand this year also went in for initiatives to fastrack the ODF process – one was a target to construct three lakh toilets in a month’s time and second was to train 38,000 women who will undertake the task of educating and motivating people through the state on the need to construct toilets at home and meeting state’s swachh targets. Jharkhand also decided to celebrate the 19th of every month across all the schools as ‘Swachhta Diwas’ in a bid to create more awareness about Swachh Bharat Mission.
CM Raghubar Das also added that Jharkhand provided toilet subsidy as a token of gift to women who were in dire need of money during the month of January and February this year, so that the state can meet its ODF target without any hurdles.
Jharkhand’s Swachh Achievements
Thanks to the consistent efforts, today more than 33 lakh toilets have been constructed in the rural areas of the state, around 27,00 toilets have been built in urban areas. More than 28,000 villages, 21 districts and 41 urban local bodies have achieved the coveted tag of open defecation free (ODF) status.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.