Gathering all its forces in a massive effort to make Madurai open defecation free, the district administration has deployed all its officials and has involved local communities in an intensive campaign titled ‘Mission-21.’ As the name suggests, over a period of 21 days, Madurai SBM team will put all resources at their disposal to ensure 100% sanitation coverage in the temple district.
According to Rohini Bidari, Additional Collector, Madurai, the mission is intended to ensure morning follow up activities in all 1946 villages of the district for 21 days continuously.
“We have deployed 142 officials in 52 vehicles, 100 motivators, 42000 VPRC/PLF members, Anganwadi workers, school teachers, health officials, lakhs of natural leaders and local people to make their villages ODF. This would be our final sacrifice and an ultimate blow to make Madurai ODF,” she said.
MISSION 21 will see every village reverberating with whistling sound blown by the natural leaders to free their villages from shit, she added. To facilitate the process, a duty roaster has been prepared. “As the team march towards their goal in top gear, meticulous schedules with vehicle numbers have been prepared by block development officers,” Bidari explained.
Although monitoring has been happening for the last 4 months, it will be intensified in the next 21 days, and monitored by officers who will visit the common OD spots personally between 4 am to 7 am and also check on evening defecators.
The move is intended to boost the morale of both natural leaders and people who equipped with whistles and torches will personally keep watch over the village and open defecators, diverting them to use their own toilets or use community toilets that they have access to. Those who do not have access to toilets will have to cover fecal matter with soil.
Thus far the district has 78% sanitation coverage. Further, of the 13 blocks in Madurai, 4 are ODF; and of 420 gram panchayats, 250 are ODF with several more on the verge of becoming ODF. Madurai district is among the forerunners alongside Kanya Kumari and Coimbatore vying to be the first ODF district in the State.