Construction of rural toilets – Bengal a model for India
Kolkata: Bengal's success in the construction of rural toilets – through Mission Nirmal Bangla, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – is now being considered as a model by the Central Government. The work of constructing toilets in the areas under the various panchayats of the state is 95 per cent complete in the state over the past two years, in comparison to 68 t0 70 per cent for the other states. The panchayats have also undertaken extensive public awareness campaigns to ensure that people get fully rid of their habit of defecating in the open.
Even a few days back, officials of the Union Rural Development Ministry visited the state and closely observed the work being done in this regard by some of the panchayats. They were very impressed and gave glowing tributes to the state in their report to the Central Government. The State Panchayats and Rural Development Minister, Subrata Mukherjee has said 100 per cent of the work of constructing toilets in rural households would be completed by the end of financial year (FY) 2018-19.
Eight districts have been made fully open defecation free (ODF) while six more would become so soon. And now like with other projects of the State Government, it has been decided to use the services of artistes enlisted with the Lok Prasar Prakalpa for spreading word on the benefits of using permanent toilets at homes. Through various types of folk songs and folk dances, performed according to the region, trained artistes would help in convincing people towards proper toilet habits.
Recently, for example, 120 folk artistes in Howrah district were recently trained on the messages to be conveyed. Along with them, posters, festoons and banners would also be used for the purpose.