- Of the 621 villages, 171 have already been declared ODF
- In next 90 days, the target is to build 90,000 toilets
- Osmanabad aims to become ODF by October 2 this year
New Delhi: In February when Swadhin Kshatriya, Chief Secretary of Maharashtra conveyed to the Centre that the state will become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by March 2018, Osmanabad district decided to eliminate open defecation in a rather unique manner and set an example for other parts of the country to follow. On July 17, Osmanabad Zilla Parishad dug more than 10,000 toilet pits in less than 24 hours and by July 23, 10,000 households across the district will have access to individual toilet.
On July 2 Osmanabad district comprising 621 villages launched the ‘Mission 90 Days’ initiative to achieve construction and prolonged use of 90,000 remaining individual toilets and turn 550 villages ODF by October 2. By keeping this ambitious target in mind, civic workers along with officers took upon themselves the herculean task of digging 10,000 pits. The activity started sharp at 6 am across the district and by midnight, 10,776 pits were completed, “In this programme, we aimed to achieve 10,000 pits but to our wonder, 776 more pits were dug within the given time duration,” says Anand Rayate, Chief Executive Officer, Osmanabad Zilla Parishad.
Everyone from Zilla Parishad President, Vice President, elected members, officers, Zilla Parishad employees, social workers, all Block Development Officers, Sarpanches and all grass root level entities participated actively, “People of Osmanabad indeed have made the Clean India Mission into a mass movement. Every person is enthusiastic about contributing their bit towards cleanliness and sanitation and this can be seen with the kind of self-involvement we have witnessed in last few months,” says Hanumant Gadge, Zilla Parishad official.
To make this initiative interesting, village which constructs maximum number of toilets in minimum number of days will be honoured on October 2 by the heads of Zilla Parishad. Under this initiative, 51 groups of Zilla Panchayat employees, three women teams, and a dedicated monitoring team have been deployed to submit weekly progress reports of their respective panchayats to Mr Rayate.
To ensure maximum participation from Osmanabad residents in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the district introduced the ‘Build A Toilet And Visit Singapore’ scheme. As per the scheme, 32 villagers will be selected through a lottery system, and the chosen ones will then be sent to an all-expense paid trip to Singapore. The only criteria they need to fulfill is to build a toilet at home. The results will be announced on October 2.
With their two initiatives, ‘Build A Toilet And Visit Singapore’ and ‘Mission 90 Days’, the district aims to become ODF this year by October 2. Of the total villages, 171 have already turned ODF.