PM praises Reasi for becoming first open defecation free block in J-K | india-news | Hindustan Times
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PM praises Reasi for becoming first open defecation free block in J-K

Barely three months after the Jammu railway station emerged as India’s third cleanest sation, Reasi in Jammu region has become the first open defecation free block in Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: May 29, 2017 21:11 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
In his month radio address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Reasi for becoming the first open defecation free blockm in Jammu and Kashmir.
In his month radio address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Reasi for becoming the first open defecation free blockm in Jammu and Kashmir.(REUTERS)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised Reasi block for becoming the first open defecation free block in Jammu and Kashmir.

While the hilly district attracts millions of pilgrims to the cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra, Reasi block comprising 13 panchayats with a population of over 30,000 people, found mention in Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday morning.

Reasi deputy commissioner Ravinder Kumar told Hindustan Times that it took three to four months for the administration to achieve the feat.

“When we started off we roped in rural development department, sarpanches, panches, Anganwadi workers, NREGA workers and a host of other agencies. NHPC also chipped in with its contribution under its corporate social responsibility programme and constructed nearly 250 toilets,” said Kumar.

The official, however, said that the success of the campaign was because of the cooperation of the villagers.

“Without their cooperation, it would not have been possible for us to make Reasi block open defecation free. We toured all the 13 Panchayats convincing the people to about ill-effects of open defecation. We made them understand that the unhealthy practice of open defecation was the root-cause of many diseases, especially diarrhoea,” said Kumar.

Subsequently, their efforts stared paying off and people started constructing toilets in their houses on their own, he added.

For those below poverty line, the administration constructed ‘two-pit’ toilets.

In all 4000 toilets were constructed in Reasi block out of which the district administration constructed nearly 2000 for the BPL families.

The deputy commissioner attributed the success to relentless campaign by various government departments and above all a missionary zeal exhibited by the people themselves.

Earlier this year, the Jammu railway station was ranked third among 75 busiest stations in the country in “Swachch Survekshan 2017”.