A campaign launched by an enterprising District Collector on 15th July 2013, led to the district achieving 100 per cent ODF status in all the 89 Gram Panchayats (GPs) on 30th April 2015, making Nadia the 1st district since the launch of the SBM, to become ODF.
In 2013, as many as 3,09,881 households in Nadia District did not have access to toilets and were defecating in the open. A strategy focusing on behavioural change, provision of universal access to sanitary toilets and usage to bring improvement in health indices was put in place.
The building blocks for ODF Nadia were:
- Analysis of baseline survey data, intensive planning activities
- Behaviour change communication involving people from all walks of life
- Initiatives in human resource development, especially skill upgradation of masons
- Strengthening the service delivery mechanism and induction of partners for the purpose
- Convergence, co-ordination and monitoring was undertaken by the Zila Parishad and district administration
- GPs were designated as implementing agencies and anganwadi workers were made the focal point.
- Rural Sanitary Marts (RSM) were set up to deliver materials.
The stakeholder participation was expanded through a campaign of pledging in schools. Students were used as change agents and SHGs (self-help groups) were used for mobilization. Faith-based organizations were motivated to spread awareness. The doctors were sensitized to prescribe toilets and safe hygienic practices to patients. Capacity building of various stakeholders such as teachers, SHG leaders, RSMs and masons was undertaken. Intensive IEC/ BCC campaigns were undertaken to include mini marathon, hot air balloons, human chain of 122 km (with 3.5 lakh people throughout the district participating). Para Najardari Committees were formed in each habitation for monitoring of ODF.