Quit India Movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi on 9th August, 1942. On that date, 75 years later, the district administration of East Champaran on 9th August, 2017 started the initiative called Champaran Ka Rann to fight against uncleanliness; and open defecation.
Champaran Ka Rann is a platform for all people to learn and share their experiences with the community. To that end, the campaign has encouraged community participation in bringing about awareness of safe sanitation practices to achieve a clean and ODF (open defecation free) Champaran that will culminate at the end of the Champaran Satyagrah Satabdi year.
The district administration considers it to be a great tribute to the Father of the Nation who believed that sanitation was far more important than independence.
The district administration has appointed scores of Swachhagrahis as agents of change and Nigrani Samitis to carry out follow up actions. It has also organised capacity building for all stakeholders; and enlisted the support of school students as messengers of hygiene and sanitation.
As far toilet construction is concerned, twin pit toilets have been promoted as a safe and sustainable toilet option. Towards this, the district officials have organised a robust supply chain to meeting timely requirements. Once toilets are built, focus is being given to usage and sustainability of ODF status through strengthening of PRIs, Nigrani Samitis and linkage with other development schemes. In addition, geo-tagging, MIS entries and inter-district verification is being carried out by officials and agencies.
For the purpose of this campaign, all officers have assumed the position of Swachhgrahis, having become efficient CLTS (community led total sanitation) motivators themselves in the process of triggering the community and supporting them to achieve ODF status.
The campaign has sought active involvement of PRI (panchayat raj institution) members, media persons, district officers and all individuals of the district.
The children who are the future of the community are being triggered and encouraged to join the Champaran Ka Rann initiative. A unique slogan ‘Mujhe Shouchalaya Chahiye’ coined by the District Magistrate has represented the voice of the children of Champaran who do not have toilets at home.
Convergence with all departments
Convergence of the departments has been a crucial issue for the ODF movement in the district. All the departments have committed for a Clean and ODF East Champaran, the education department being one of the front runners in the campaign.
A sanitation park has been established and named Gandhi Swachhta Park in which 8 types of toilet models have been constructed using different technologies to suit geographical as well as economical needs. Visitors to the park can make learned decisions on the type of toilet technology they can opt for.
IEC and IPC tools
With a view to changing mindset and influencing behaviour change with regard to sanitation, the district administration has extensively used Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Inter Personal Communication (IPC) tools.
Environment building is one of the key parameters of the initiative. Towards this, different types of hoardings, wall paintings, pamphlets on toilet technology, were designed. Further, a 100 KM Padyatra was undertaken under the leadership of the DM, Mr. Raman Kumar from 23 December to 25th December, 2017. This was started from Chandrahiya Village in Motihari and ended at Kesariya Budhha Sataup, covering about 100 villages enroute. The focus of the padyatra was to emphasise the importance of proper sanitation, and to strengthen the children’s demand – Mujhe Sauchalya Chahiye.
At every juncture of the walk, the DM raised the concerns of the elderly, pregnant women, teenagers, adolescent girls, the disabled, and family dignity, urging people to reflect on their situation and how open defecation affects them.
The remaining 4 blocks were covered in a similar pattern where the DM undertook Swachhgrah Yatra and organised triggering activities, morning follow-up, Mujhe Sauchalya Chahiye Campaign, ODF village visit, etc.
Support of JEEVIKA
JEEVIKA has extended full support to the district administration in this mission through active involvement in environment building, IEC, triggering, IPC, CLTS activities as well as targeted approach to every household left out of the baseline survey. They have asked each of their members to start construction work and to date 80,214 families have contributed to the wonderful experiment in Champaran Ka Rann.
(Inputs from ZSBP-East Champaran)