Men in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad can become “Bhai No 1” by gifting toilets to their sisters on Raksha Bandhan, under the government’s Swachh Bharat campaign to make the area the first open-defecation-free (ODF) district in the state.
And, if the experiment is successful, husbands would have a chance to become ‘Pati No. 1’ on ‘Karwa Chauth’ by gifting toilet to their wife.
Rajeev Nayan Gupta, project coordinator for the Swachh Bharat Mission, said Firozabad was a pioneer when it became the first district to begin community-led total sanitation (CLTS) programme and it now aims to become an ODF district within a year.
“Unfortunately, there had been many who were waiting for government aid of Rs 12,000 to build toilet. But it is not possible to grant aid to those who are capable of getting toilets constructed on their own,” stated Gupta.
“To achieve the target soon, we thought of innovative ideas and discussed them with the district magistrate and got clearance. Now, we are moving ahead with the plan to award the title of ‘Bhai No. 1’.”
Officials will take a call on the “Pati No. 1” scheme after reviewing the results of the current campaign. Gupta said the Pati No 1 project was based on the logic that during the Hindu marriage rituals, the husband vows to protect the dignity of the wife.
Block motivators would travel across the rural belt to publicise the schemes to take Firozabad ahead of other districts, added Gupta.