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World Toilet Day: West Bengal Is On A Mission To Combat The Menace Of Open Defecation

To mark World Toilet Day, people of West Bengal conducted series of activities to spread the message of Swachh Bharat Mission, safe sanitation, behaviour change and sustainability of the achievements made in sanitation so far

World Toilet Day: West Bengal Is On A Mission To Combat The Menace Of Open Defecation

New Delhi: India, which has been on a toilet building spree, marked the World Toilet Day 2018, as a day to raise awareness, with initiatives to mobilise people to tackle the global sanitation crisis. In this direction, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) has instituted a contest in which districts across India competed to better each other’s performance in promoting cleanliness and sustaining the open defecation free (ODF) status. In the race to win this contest, the citizens, the state and local governments of West Bengal have been conducting a series of cleanliness drives since November 9.

Also Read: ‘Jai Bharat, Jai Swachhta,’ Says Amitabh Bachchan In His World Toilet Day Message

The Panchayat and Rural Development Department has been conducting awareness campaigns against open defecation and other sanitation and health-related issues. The World Toilet day started with the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asking people to take the pledge to eradicate the menace of open defecation.

In the ten-day run up to the World Toilet Day, from rallies and cleanliness drives to sports and cultural events and even publishing a magazine dedicated to the cause, many grassroots level activities were organised by the district, block and panchayat level authorities involving the sanitation activists, ‘swachhta’ champions, ‘swachhagrahis’, students, police and the public.

Several rallies were organised in Nazardari village, Nadia district on Monday with thousands of people holding placards with slogans and messages of ‘swachhta’ and safe sanitation.

People from rural areas of Cooch Behar and Bankura districts undertook multiple activities including cycle rallies, cleanliness drives, door-to-door campaigns, football matches and cultural events.

People in Bankura district sent almost two lakh postcards to their near and dear ones to echo the message of the importance of sanitation.

Paintings of a ‘Swachh and Swasth Bharat’ (clean and healthy India), drawn by students in Bankura district were showcased through an art exhibition.

A magazine has been published in Murshidabad district which showcases the ODF journey of the district and provides information on various measures that can be undertaken in order to sustain the behaviour change among people for a healthy and better future. ‘Swachhta’ champions were facilitated during an event organised to mark the World Toilet Day, for their contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission.

The Panchayat and Rural Development Department released some television tickers to create awareness about hand washing to encourage parents to not allow children to eat food without washing their hands.

The state government has asked people to clear containers used to store water, and flower pots as they serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. People have been requested to segregate garbage at source and keep bio-degradable waste in separate bins.

Also Read: World Toilet Summit 2018: Swachh Bharat Ambassador Akshay Kumar Talks About The Need For Clean Toilets

Nearly a year before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan which was launched in October 2014, West Bengal had launched its own sanitation campaign, Mission Nirmal Bangla (Pure Bengal) in November 2013. This campaign endeavours to achieve the larger objective of reduction in child mortality and morbidity, overall mortality and morbidity by reducing the chances of water-borne and faecal-borne diseases caused by open defecation.

The Chief Minister said that 11 districts, 33,261 Villages, 2,621 Gram Panchayats and 255 Blocks of the state have become ODF and the rest of the state is set to become ODF by March 2019. Five districts in Bengal that are yet to be declared ODF are Purulia, Jhargram, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). Fourteen districts have formally been declared as ODF while in three other districts, work has been completed but the formal declaration has not happened yet.

Also Read: World Toilet Day 2018: India Celebrates Its Success In Achieving Its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Goals

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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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