The rural areas of the district would be ‘open defecation free’ by April 15, said Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mandeep Singh Brar in Panchkula on Thursday.
He said a five-day workshop would be conducted in Mansa Devi Temple Satsang Bhawan and 101 motivators had been selected for it. The selected motivators were taught at least 100 types of psychological tools to prevent people from defecating in the open. To ensure participation of the community as a whole, school principals, teachers, students, aanganwari workers of the villages were also trained about the bad effects of open defecation.
He added that initially 10 gram panchayats out of 128 had been selected to create awareness among the villagers. The 10 gram panchayats have shown good response and now it will be initiated in the rest of the panchayats.
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He said that the government was providing subsidy and other relaxations to make toilets in villages, but even after that, the results were not up to mark. The reason behind that – people are aware that it is not good to go for open defecation, but they do not realise that by doing it, they are making the environment unhealthy. To teach them about the ill effects, psychological tools have been used, rather them just pressuring them.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Hema Sharma said that 128 gram panchayats were divided into 19 clusters. The two villages named Dudgarh and Rattewali have taken the pledge to make these villages open defecation free by March 31.
Feedback Foundation, Government of India, CEO Ajay Sinha said that 2011 census reports show that 80 per cent of toilets have been constructed in the country, but 70 percent of people still go for open defecation. The foundation realises the need to change the mindset of the people rather than just constructing toilets. With zero budget this initiative has succeeded in Indore district of Madhya Pradesh and Bikaner of Rajasthan which are 100 per cent open defecation free now. The same target will be achieved in Panchkula district in 45 days.