Construction of rural toilets – Bengal, a model for India

Bengal’s success in the construction of rural toilets through Mission Nirmal Bangla, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – is now being considered as a model by the Central Government.
The work of constructing toilets in the areas under the various Panchayats of the state has been 95% completed in the state over the past two years, in comparison to 68% to 70% for the other states.
The Panchayats have not stopped at just constructing toilets. They have undertaken extensive public awareness campaigns to ensure that people get fully rid of their habit of defecating in the open.
A few days back, officials of the Union Rural Development Ministry visited the state and closely observed the work being done in this regard by some of the Panchayats.
They were very impressed and gave glowing tributes to the state in their report to the Central Government.
The State Panchayats and Rural Development Minister, Subrata Mukherjee has said 100% of the work of constructing toilets in rural households would be completed by the end of financial year (FY) 2018-19.
Eight districts have been made fully open defecation free (ODF) while six more are in progress.
Like other projects of the State Government, it has been decided to use the services of artists enlisted with the Lok Prasar Prakalpa for spreading the word on the benefits of using permanent toilets at homes.
Through various types of folk songs and folk dances, performed according to the region, trained artists would help in convincing people towards proper toilet habits.
Recently, for example, 120 folk artistes in Howrah district were recently trained on the messages to be conveyed.
Along with them, posters, festoons and banners would also be used for the purpose.

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