Nellore: Though state and Central governments have been paying special attention for the construction of Individual Sanitary Latrines in a big way, beneficiaries are not utilising them and continuing open defecation in most of the villages. Alarmed by the trend, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) officials have been devising awareness programmes to cultivate the habit of using ISL's among people in the habitations. “Our focus now is more on making people use the ISL’s than building them after noticing the reluctance of people to use them in villages” said K.K. Kishore Kumar Chief Engineer and Project Director of SBM. According to the CE, SBM has been taking the help of Delhi-based Feedback Foundation under Community Led Total Sanitation Programme.
The CLTS is an alternative approach to achieve the outcomes of total sanitation. This approach aims at triggering a sense of disgust and shame within the community by analysing the extent of open defecation and demonstrating the spread of faecaloral contamination that detrimentally affects them. This realization triggers the community for collective action for ending open defecation and improving sanitation and hygiene situation.
Through impressive and practical demonstrations on the field, the foundation representatives are enlightening the people on how the houseflies carry faecal matter to food being consumed by them because of open defecation. They identify and ensure the presence of people, who are opting for open defecation, during the demonstration and involve them in the show. By showing how the housefly with six legs land on the faecal matter and there after on the eatables, they link it to outbreak of diarrhea which is claiming 4 lakh infants every year.
“No body will dare to go for open defecation in their life time if they happened to witness the demonstration since organisers bluntly say that faecal matter being consumed by locals,” said S.K Mardan Ali, Coordinator of SBM. Collector M. Janaki who accompanied the foundation team to Penubarthi village near Nellore declined to accept petitions from locals on various issues in a bid to make them use the toilets. Out of 541 households in the habitation only 132 houses do not have ISLs.
Among the rest, 70 households are not using their ISL. Collector had promised to address all their issues only after they make the village open deification free and put March 1 as deadline. Mr Kishore Kumar said that the priority now is to increase the number of Open Deification Free habitations besides constructing ISL's in every household across the state. He said that Feedback Foundation has been giving training to key resource persons identified at state level and they in turn would provide training to district level and village level teams to motive public both to construct and use the ISL.