Rakshabandhan Special: Bhai No. 1 contest to reward brothers who gift toilet to sisters in MP's Harda | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Rakshabandhan Special: Bhai No. 1 contest to reward brothers who gift toilet to sisters in MP's Harda

A competition launched by the administration of Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday will reward men who ensure their sisters have access to clean toilets as part of efforts to discourage the habit of defecating in the open.

bhopal Updated: Jul 16, 2015 20:34 IST

A competition launched by the administration of Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday will reward men who ensure their sisters have access to clean toilets as part of efforts to discourage the habit of defecating in the open.

The “Bhai No 1” competition has been timed to coincide with the upcoming Rakshabandhan festival, which celebrates the bonds between brothers and sisters.

Harda collector Rajneesh Shrivastava launched the campaign that will continue till August 15. The administration has put up colourful posters in Harda and nearby villages to popularise the competition.

The men have to submit a photograph of their sister and the toilet. The administration is charging a fee of Rs 5 for registering for the competition.

Illustration: Jayanto

The innovative initiative has been appreciated by Union ministry of drinking water and sanitation, said Harda Zila Panchayat’s chief executive officer Shanmukhapriya Mishra. The ministry has urged the Prime Minister’s Office to launch a similar campaign nationwide, he said.

The Bhai No 1 prize will be given to men who gift their sisters clean toilets. The administration will felicitate these men on August 29.

“After launching the cleanliness campaign, we organized so many programmes from block to village level. But this is the first time a competition is being organised to save the dignity of women, who have to move out of their homes to respond to the call of nature,” Mishra said.

“In view of the PM’s stress on cleanliness, the ministry of drinking water and sanitation forwarded it to the PMO,” she said.

Harda district has 275 gram panchayats where the problem of open defecation is rampant.

Madhya Pradesh has one of the highest rates of open defecation (71.2%) and the country’s highest infant mortality rate (54 per 1000 live births). The UNICEF office for the state has said diseases brewing from unclean conditions, such as diarrhoea, are among the main killers of children.

Hymavathi Varman, in-charge of the state’s cleanliness campaign, said: “This is a very good initiative and I will suggest to other panchayats to follow it because people can relate with a campaign to save the dignity of their sisters.”