The Modi government has tried several measures to make people answer nature’s call inside closed doors. Amitabh Bachachan, Vidya Balan, Sachin Tendulkar and others have joined PM Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. The PM seems to have no dearth of glam power in his kitty. He himself has fueled the national programme with a broom in hand but his call seems to be answered by few. While the government creates a rat race for constructing toilets in rural and urban India, the problem barely lies in construction.
Prime Minister holds the broom for Swacch Bharat AbhiyanOpen defecation has long been part of India’s societal structure. Rooting it out from every Indian’s morning routine is like potty training 83.3 crore Indians from age 1 to 80. The task is not easy and an annual budget of Rs. 60,000 cr is not stopping Indians from doing their business outdoors.
Villagers of Gangithala in Uttar Pradesh were threatened with power cut unless they stopped defecating in the open and built toilets. Jahazpur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Kartar Singh directed electricity officials to cut power supply for the village unless they built toilets in 15 days, reported the Hindustan Times.
“The villagers have been given 15 days’ time to construct toilets; if they do not construct toilets and defecate in the open, then power supply should be cut off,” the SDM said in an order issued to the power department on August 8.
Gangithala is a minuscule example of the mad rush the government is in to build toilets to meet the prime minister’s ambitious aim to declare India open defecation free by 2019. But 52.1% of rural India still opt for open defecation as per a 2016 Swacchta Status Report by NSSO.
While the government focuses on constructing more toilets, persuading people to use them could be an easier way to change habits of people. But then again usage of toilets can not be quantified into numbers to be shown on success stories of Swacch Bharat.