The Indian government’s Swach Bharat Mission, a national project to build toilets across India, has announced the village of Hadiabad to be an open defecation-free area. Inayat Khan, the head of Swach Bharat, also declared this village to be a good example and to share its story across India.
The government held an event about the prevention of open defecation in Hadiabad, Bihar this morning. Amrita SeRVe’s local coordinator, Nand Kishore, has been working with the Swach Bharat team over the past year to bring attention to the needs of the area.
This morning a public meeting included the District Collector, the District Deputy Commissioner, the Head of Swach Bharat, the Block Development Officer, the Block Education Officer, the Panchayat Sarpanch, Amrita University students, and the Amrita SeRVe team in Bihar—a large gathering to say the least!
The first team to build toilets in the area was AMMACHI Labs, who constructed six community toilets in the hamlet of Ratanpur, two for 24 people and another four for 55 people.
After that, Nand Kishore continued awareness classes about sanitation and open defecation. The villagers became interested in building their own toilets, and so approached Swach Bharat officials. Swach Bharat took initiative to build toilets in Ichiri-Panchayat—the villages of Hadiabad, Ratanpur, Morashia, Bheradi and Inchiri.
Now there are approximately 200 new toilets in Hadiabad and 62 in Ratanpur. Today, the Swach Bharat officials made certain to take a tour and talk with the villagers who are now using the facilities. Women reported that they feel safe now, especially at night as there is no longer a need to go to isolated areas of the community. There is also relief overall about the better protection from disease.
In 2015, Amma contributed Rs 100 crore to the Indian government’s Swach Bharat and Clean Ganga programmes.