Betul district village beats drum to shame open defecators | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Betul district village beats drum to shame open defecators

Authorities in Masod village of Betul district has come up with a unique initiative to make their hamlet open-defecation free. The village heads have decided to beat drums to shame people seen defecating in the open.

bhopal Updated: Oct 17, 2016 09:19 IST
Betul collector Shahshank Mishr said in rural areas we need to ensure that people use toilets.
Betul collector Shahshank Mishr said in rural areas we need to ensure that people use toilets.(File photo)

Authorities in Masod village of Betul district has come up with a unique initiative to make their hamlet open-defecation free. The village heads have decided to beat drums to shame people seen defecating in the open.

Prior to this, Katni, Shahdol, Neemuch and Harda authorities had employed similar ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas to achieve the open-defecation free (ODF) status.

Madhya Pradesh registers a high rate of open defecation at 71.2%. The regional UNICEF has said that diseases brewing from unclean conditions, such as diarrhoea, are among the major reasons behind infant deaths.

For the past one week, sarpanch Bhaskar Magarde, his assistant Manohar Chauhan and others in Masod village, Prabhatpattanam block, have been going out in the morning at 5am with a dhol. They start beating it aloud whenever anyone is seen going out to defecate in open.

The group also roams around rural habitations raising awareness among the villagers against open defecation. Apparently, those who don’t mend their ways are further counselled at the village square.

In Chowkiya village of the district, a team of volunteers move around the fields to check defecation. As soon as they spotted someone, found they called up the village panchayat bhawan with details about the person. The controller at the bhawan then takes the name of the defaulter on a loud speaker urging them not to defecate in open.

Betul collector Shahshank Mishr said, “We are constantly thinking of ways to make Betul ODF. In rural areas we need to ensure that people use toilets. In Multai people would not use toilets even if they had one built at home. Public shaming is an effective way to curb open defecation.”

Just a day ago in Katni, superintendent of police Gaurav Tiwari had made toilet and its usage must for getting a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from local police. Getting a passport, weapon licence or even a basic character certificate will become impossible for all those who don’t have toilets at home.

A similar initiative was taken in Neemuch in March this year.

Recently the Shahdol district administration has issued orders to hold back the salaries of government employees who do not have toilets in their homes. However, the order went against the Madhya Pradesh service rules. Till now only two districts of MP — Indore and Harda — have earned the ODF status. The state government aims to make Madhya Pradesh open-defecation free by 2019.