In a bid to dissuade people from urinating and defecating in public, the district administration has decided to enlist the help of school children to shame such offenders.
According to the plan, ‘Vanar Senas’ – groups of school children – will patrol areas prone to people attending nature’s call. If the students spot someone in the act, they will ring a bell or beat metallic plates, creating a ruckus till the person leaves the location.
These enlisted children will also be encouraged to approach ‘offenders’ before they relieve themselves in such spaces, as a way to pre-empt the deed.
Other than the senas, district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said an intensive drive would be launched through the district to promote hygiene. “Children will play an important role in carrying out this ambitious scheme,” he said.
While the lack of access to a sanitary toilet is a major reason why people urinate or defecate in the open, it was found that many others prefer to do so in spite of there being a toilet in the house. Statics estimate that over 12,000 community toilets were constructed in different localities of the district, yet 60 per cent of people did not use them.
Human excreta lying in the open is a serious problem as it leads to diseases like hepatitis, diarrhoea, epilepsy and tapeworm among children and elderly people.