India’s sanitation coverage is increasing slowly – one toilet at a time. Another milestone has now been added to the progress of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – all the 420 village panchayats in Rural Madurai district which is just 30 km away from Tamil Nadu’s Madurai town was recently declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). There are around 1946 villages in Madurai district and all with their prolonged measures have successfully won the title of ODF. The sanitation coverage of Rural Madurai increased from mere 30% to 100 %.
How Rural Madurai Achieved The Impossible Task
With around 3,44,592 individual household toilets which covers approximately 97 % of the population, the remaining 3% of the population in the villages uses public toilet complexes.
District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) has also facilitated construction of 1,45,371 household toilets, 492 community toilets wherever it was necessary.
— Swachh Bharat I #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav (@swachhbharat) May 4, 2017
Presenting Open Defecation Free Barometre
Open defecation barometer was introduced by the Madurai District Collector, K Veera Raghava Rao, when he announced that the district has achieved the status of Open Defecation Free.
There are around 5 different levels in the barometer that includes – 100 % access to toilets, 100 % usage of toilets, no incidents of open defecation, strong monitoring for sustainability, ODF and ODF plus Solid and Liquid Waste Management.
This device will be kept in all the villages in Rural Madurai to carefully overlook sanitation status of all the villages and ensure that the constructed toilets are being used by the people. This is important as the usage of toilets remains an issue. Currently the villages are Open Defecation Free, but if any village slips back, then the status of ODF will be taken back from the district.