Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has been bestowed with the ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus’ status by the Centre for making all the villages in the state meet the parameters prescribed under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the state government said on Sunday (July 2). The southern state gained the coveted status as all the villages have been equipped with modern facilities for sanitation and waste disposal as per the parameters set by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, a release issued by the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP) said.
Kerala is targeting to achieve 100 per cent ODF Model status by December 2023 and is expected to become the first state in the country to achieve that goal, it said.
According to the KSWMP release, the criteria for declaring a village as ODF Plus includes its sustained ODF status along with implementing either solid or liquid waste management systems.
The release said,
The focussed efforts by all villages and gram panchayats in meeting the yardsticks in this regard helped Kerala attain the status, which reflects on the policy initiatives and their meticulous implementation by the government.
The Gram panchayats implemented projects for source-level management of biodegradable waste, collection of biodegradable waste by Haritha Karma Sena, construction of community and household toilets, installation of public disposal facilities for biodegradable waste, liquid waste disposal facilities and various informative campaigns, it said.
Presently, out of the 1,509 villages in the state, 491 have got ODF Plus status in ‘Aspiring’ category, 48 in ‘Rising’ and 970 in ‘Model’ category, it said.
The release said,
Percentage wise, Kerala has the highest number of model villages in the country.
In order to achieve 100 per cent ODF Model status by the end of the year, activities like creating well-maintained toilets in schools, anganwadis, grama panchayat headquarters and public washrooms have been taken up in addition to keeping all the villages Open Defecation Free, it said.
Besides that, water stagnation and garbage pile up in public spaces is being avoided, community compost facilities are being created, collection and management facilities for non-biodegradable waste are being identified, it added.
Apart from Kerala, the southern states of Karnataka and Telangana also got ODF Plus status, the release said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.