Madhya Pradesh govt ropes in eunuchs to boost Swachh drive

  • Rahul Noronha, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 14:11 IST

In a first, Madhya Pradesh government will be enlisting the support of eunuchs for stricter and more effective implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Eunuchs would be paid an honorarium and would be given identity cards too.

State rural development minister Gopal Bhargava on Monday met a group of eunuchs led by former MLA Shabnam Mausi and former Sagar mayor Kamala Bua who pledged their support for the cleanliness drive launched by PM Narendra Modi.

Eunuchs would be appointed for monitoring cleanliness programmes such as construction of toilets, hand washing and sanitation drives administered by the rural development department.

Eunuchs wishing to join would be identified through a medical test that would be corroborated by other eunuchs. Once recruited, they would travel to rural areas to put social pressure on local people to construct toilets and keep their surroundings clean. They would also carry out a social audit of funds to ensure they are being utilised judiciously. They would be paid an honorarium from the fund paid to motivators for this task.

"Eunuchs can exert very effective social pressure on people and have tremendous power of expression. The move would also lead to bringing eunuchs in the mainstream of society," said Bhargava.

The programme would be launched in four blocks of Madhya Pradesh — Rehli, Anuppur, Sehore and Jabalpur — on November 14. There are an estimated 30,000-35,000 eunuchs in Madhya Pradesh, claimed Kamala Bua.

The rural development department has identified 687 eunuchs who would begin working in the pilot project.

"Where rules and laws have failed, there is a lot we can get done through our language," said former MLA Shabnam Mausi, suggesting that they can help in putting social pressure on people to adhere to laws.

"Rules and laws can be effective only up to a point, but beyond that, some extent of shaming will work," said additional chief secretary, rural development, Aruna Sharma.

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