New Delhi: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is inching towards its target – open defecation free (ODF) India by October 2, 2019, and urban areas of 21 states and Union Territories have declared themselves free from the practice of open defecation and now Bengaluru joins the ODF club. On December 27, 2018, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), passed a resolution in the council, declaring all 198 wards as ODF. After that the BBMP has issued a public notice declaring areas under its jurisdiction as ODF, inviting objections from the citizens till January 14.
It is just a self-declaration that has happened so far. As per the Swachh Bharat Mission criteria, for every declaration that the city makes, we have to have a pull off period of 15 days. We have informed the citizens about ODF declaration via print media. If an individual has any feedback or objection, he/she can reach out to us, says Randeep D, Special commissioner, Health and Solid Waste Management, BBMP, while speaking to NDTV.
If in case BBMP receives any major feedback to address, they will, else BBMP plans to go ahead with the process of ODF verification by QCI (Quality Council of India).
To address the problem of open defecation in the city, initially BBMP did a survey to understand the number of toilets required. It was found that nearly 3,000 (2,996) individual household toilets (IHHL) were needed. Till today 1,652 IHHL, 32 community and 581 public toilets have been constructed in the city. 195 IHHL are still under construction.
Explaining the gap between the number of individual household toilets needed as per the survey and what has been constructed, Mr Randeep says,
Access to toilet is different from having IHHL. It is not like people don’t have access to toilets, it is just that they don’t have IHHL. People who don’t have IHHL have been mapped to nearest public and community toilets.
Further elaborating on the accessibility to toilets, Mr Randeep says,
We have mapped all 613 (public and community) toilets on google locator. Along with this, toilets existing in malls and restaurants have also been geo-tagged. We have made it compulsory for petrol pumps and restaurants to keep toilets in their premises open for public use.
Though BBMP has declared itself ODF, one can still find instances of open defecation in the city, say experts. According to BBMP, providing citizens infrastructure is one thing and making them use it is another. Despite having toilets near them, some people still prefer to defecate in open.
Talking about the same and the challenges BBMP faces in its ODF journey, Mr Randeep says,
To make people actually use toilets was and is still a big challenge. Open defecation is prominent among migrant population and workers community, who keep shifting their settlement. We are trying to overcome this issue.
To encourage people to construct and use toilets, BBMP went door to door to educate people about the ill effects of defecating in the open, benefits of using a toilet and other things. BBMP workers, who are actually the face of BBMP in slums and low income groups, would go and speak to individuals showing resistance to using a toilet.
Over a period of four years, we have come a long way and of course, there are still some loopholes which we will cover at the earliest, says Mr Randeep.
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.
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
Opinion: Climate Change Is A Healthcare Emergency
Injuries and deaths due to extreme weather events are likely to increase manifolds as a result of climate change
Promises Of Climate Finance, Low-Cost Tech Transfer To Developing Nations Must Be Fulfilled: India
According to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, climate justice requires that the promises of climate finance and low-cost technology transfer...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency