After outrage over the Solapur Zilla Parishad’s alleged decision to garland women who were allegedly found to have been defecating in the open, the village where the incident occurred passed a resolution backing the chief executive officer (CEO) of the zilla parishad. The resolution says ‘felicitation’ of the women by the ‘Good Morning’ squads, which are monitoring areas where open defecation continues, was misinterpreted by the media. The village also observed a complete ‘bandh’ Thursday to protest comments against the CEO.
Last week, Solapur ZP CEO Rajendra Bharud was on a visit to Chikamahud village in Sangola taluka to create awareness about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It was reported that Bharud felicitated a few women with garlands allegedly to shame them for reportedly having continued to not use the public toilets. On Thursday, villagers called a special gram sabha and passed a resolution in support of IAS officer Bharud. “The resolution was passed condemning the misinterpretation of the incidents and defamation of the women, the village and of Bharud. The women were felicitated by the Good Morning team and not by Bharud. After sometime, Bharud felicitated members of the Good Morning squad, at the event, the two women were also present. But a section of media and others misinterpreted these two incidents,” said Balasaheb Bhosale, deputy sarpanch of the village.
He said the resolution was passed after members of the ODF squad gave a written report on the controversy. “We will meet the district collector and the superintendent of police to give them the resolution and request action…,” he said.
Kishor Maharnavar, a resident of the village, said the villagers observed a complete “spontaneous” bandh Thursday. “Though Diwali is just days away, all the shopkeepers kept their shops shut as a mark of protest. The incident has brought a bad name for the village unnecessarily,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, taking cognisance of the issue, wrote to the Solapur district collector asking him to handle such cases “sensitively”.