As many as 2850 rural students from various schools and colleges of Nagarkurnool district of Telangana participated in a massive twin pit toilet model formation at the district headquarters’ Zilla Parishad High School on 2nd February, 2018.
The purpose of the event was to extensively publicise the twin pit toilet model and its benefits through media channels. It was also intended to make students change agents so they can demand the facility at their homes. The event facilitated the making of a video clip that could be shared on social media to spread awareness among the rural folk.
Initiated by Sharath Babu K. (Zilla Swachh Bharat Prerak, Nagarkurnool); participants included 1150 students from Zilla Parishad High School B; 650 students from Zilla Parishad High School G; 800 students from Government High School; and 250 students from Government Girls Junior College.
In the run up to the event, considerable planning went into the process of making arrangements. A matter of concern was that while the sanitation coverage for the rest of the state had crossed 80%, the coverage of Nagarkurnool was barely 47%. The ZSBP who joined just two months earlier realized that the ODF campaign needed to gather pace, not only to catch up with the rest of the state but also to make toilets accessible to all communities. Also, the team identified that although various campaigns were carried out earlier; there was lack of awareness with regard to the twin pit toilet model, as advocated by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
They figured that a human chain kind of formation of a twin pit would provide the necessary awareness, while involving departments such as education that will provide the necessary human power for such an exercise; and District public relation officer to ensure media coverage.
Thereafter, five physical education teachers were deployed to support the programme – their task comprising of marking the toilet map, arrangement of children’s formation, and ensuring that all children attended the awareness event and returned to their respective schools and colleges. The twin pit toilet marking measuring 100X100 feet was made ready a day before the event.
As far as the programme schedule was concerned, students left their schools at 9.30 am and formed the toilet model by 10 am. The District Collector arrived at the venue at 10.20 am to flag off the event and by 10.40 am the formation dispersed. The entire formation process was filmed by a drone camera.
The programme continued with key messages delivered by the DC and ZSBP to the children, parents and the community that had gathered there. Several short SBM movies and presentations on fecal oral transmission and ill effects of open defecation were made, emphasizing the importance of using toilets. The DC also urged students to demand toilets from their parents. Students, he believes are key change agents in bringing about behavior change in their families and the communities at large. In turn students assured the DC of working towards making the district ODF.
A slogan competition held earlier gave rise to new catchy slogans that were chanted during the formation.