The measures adopted by residents of Simrol village in Madhya Pradesh to end the problem of defecating in the open could soon become a model for Maharashtra.
Impressed by the low-cost toilets built in Simrol, located 26 km from Indore in Mhow tehsil, Sudheendra Kulkarni of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai, has invited residents of the village to make a presentation on their model to members of the think tank.
This presentation will then forwarded to the Maharashtra government.
In January, Hindustan Times had prominently featured the work done by the residents of Simrol, which was made possible by the efforts of Sarpanch Dinesh Silwadiya and others.
“I was quite impressed with their simple yet focused approach to make their village open defecation free. The model is worth being shared, not just nationally but even on an international platform,” Kulkarni said.
The people of Simrol used adhesive, white cement, drums and a green net to construct their ‘jugaad’ toilets. A total of 350 toilets were built at a cost just Rs 3,000.
Vijaya Bundela, one of the villagers who benefited from the scheme, said, “We were very happy when we came to know that every family will have their own toilet. It used to be embarrassing for us when we had to go into the open every morning to relieve ourselves.”
Kulkarni, who visited the city on Sunday, said it was commendable that the whole of Indore rural district was made open defecation free in a very short time. He added he was very impressed by the systematic approach followed by the administration.
Besides taking the help of IIT-Indore student who conducted research on the toilets built in Simrol, the ORF plans to shoot a documentary on the work done by the villagers. The documentary will look at the process used to make the toilets and the hurdles faced by the people.