Lifestyle Viral and Trending 27 May 2018 Collector gets his h ...

Collector gets his hands dirty!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published May 27, 2018, 12:38 am IST
Updated May 27, 2018, 12:38 am IST
The District Collector of Medak got into a pit toilet to demonstrate how night soil can be turned into manure
Dharma Reddy demonstrating ODF sustainability
 Dharma Reddy demonstrating ODF sustainability

Dharma Reddy, the District Collector of Medak, recently stunned everyone in attendance when he got into a pit toilet in Pandhare wada village, Pune, while attending a two-day workshop on open defecation-free (ODF) sustainability. He says that he wanted to test it for himself and demonstrate to people how it could be used.

“Building infrastructure for sanitation and hygiene is our top priority. We are asking people to construct twin pit toilets in their villages. After one pit is filled, the night soil automatically goes into the second one. And over a period of one year, the contents of the pit turn into manure. If I want to tell people what to do, I first need to show them the way. I got into the pit, touched the contents and found that the night soil had turned into manure,” he says.

 

Though there were several other people around him, the Collector chose to do the demonstration himself. He says that he wanted people to see for themselves how the toilets worked, so that they would be motivated to construct and use them. “One needs to have a proper understanding of how things work. We must act and set an example, or else, how can we ask others to follow us. I did not feel embarrassed; we want to bring about a cultural and behavioural change. And unless you see something, you won’t believe it. After I got into the pit, a few more people followed me.” Talking about the importance of ODF sustainability, he says that it is important to incentivise sanitation. “Several districts across the country are becoming ODF, but sustainability is still a challenge. We need to take steps towards sustainability, to motivate people to use toilets. The manure obtained from night soil is a pure fertiliser. It can be applied to plants to produce a rich harvest,” he conludes. 

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