Ghaziabad panchayat officials felicitated for making villages open defecation free
Twenty ‘gram pradhans’ (village heads) of Ghaziabad district were felicitated for their work towards making their villages open defecation free. Six of the 20 pradhans to be felicitated were women.
The ‘pradhans’ and panchayat ‘sachivs’ (secretaries) of villages took part in the programme held at Hindi Bhavan in Lohiya Nagar. According to officials, 111 of 196 villages in the district have been made open defecation free, while the work in remaining villages is in progress.
“We aim to achieve the target by April-end. A district level committee has verified that 77 villages are open defecation free while verification is going on in other villages. Work in the remaining villages is being expedited and is expected to be finished by April. The details will then be uploaded on the Government of India website. Our women pradhans have done a tremendous work to take up awareness campaigns and educate villagers,” Nidhi Kesarwani, the district magistrate, said.
Dr Manju Shivach, the newly elected MLA from Modi Nagar, appreciated the efforts of the district officials and said that the mission (to make villages free from open defecation) will succeed only if connected drains and ponds are also cleaned up.
“Officials should also consider scenarios of families who don’t even have 1.5 metres space available to construct toilets. We should also target slum clusters and the work should be expedited there. These sections are vulnerable to health problems and need to be provided with hygienic surroundings,” she said.
“We have to ensure that the work is completed in all villages even if we miss the April deadline by 15-20 days,” she said.
The women pradhans who were invited for the event also included those who recently attended the Swachh Shakti – 2017 conclave held in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat. The event was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The gathering, of more than 500 persons, also took an oath to maintain clean surroundings and educate people about the ill-effects of open defecation.
“It should be our effort to ensure that those who opted to make their villages open defecation free should not revert to traditional ways. There should be continuous awareness campaigns,” the DM said.