The district of Bhagpat situated on the east bank of River Yamuna in western Uttar Pradesh has built about 54,000 individual household toilets since the start of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) in October 2014 and was declared open defecation free (ODF) on 8th March, 2018 . In a short span of three years sanitation coverage in the district has increased from about 60% to 100%.
According to ZSBP-Bhagpat, Radhika Singhal, various triggering activities were carried out to build awareness about safe sanitation practices amongst the community. While those activities bore fruit when people began to build and use toilets, there are many accounts of individuals whose actions will remain a source of inspiration. Here are some instances:
Neeraj Kumar, a Gram Pradhan of Hasanpur Jiwani gram panchayat in Baraut Block not only contributed to making his GP ODF, but also organized street lights, daily cleaning of public spaces and setting up of a new burial ground in a matter of 22 days.
Having received inspiration from other groups, Bebi, a member of a Self Help Group in Garhi Kangran village convinced her family members to use group savings and take a loan to build a toilet in their home without waiting for the government incentive.
Anganwadi worker – Suman also called Munni from Balvi village is a true Swachhagrahi. With the support of her brother, she managed to convince around 70 people to refrain from using insanitary latrines. She repeatedly encouraged them to build new toilets and use them.
Encouraged by his father, 12-year-old Gautam from Hasanpur Jiwani village in Baraut, gifted a toilet to his sister Deepanshi (14) on the occasion of Raksha Bandan 2017.
Anju is a member of a Self Help Group (SHG) in village Garhi Kangraan in Binauli. She managed to convince 7 women to make their own toilets using group savings and loans. Through their group business activities, they managed to successfully pay back the loan.
Ex-army servants Rajpal Singh and his friends continue to dedicate their lives for a better, safe and healthy India. They have convinced many people in village of Bavli to refrain from defecating in open.
Neelam was accustomed to defecating in an insanitary toilet, when the local swachhagrahi and village development officer convinced her to build a new twin pit toilet. Neelam did not take long to understand the cause and effect relationship of using toilets and thereafter convinced other people as well.
Master Manguram from gram panchayat Faizullapur has been solving all issues in the GP without the involvement of police with the help of his gram sabha. No police has ever gone there. The panchayat became ODF way back in 2016 and continues to sustain its ODF status.
After ensuring that his GP became ODF, Gram Pradhan of Dolcha Village had made a beautiful and clean library for students preparing for competitive and board exams.
Gram Pradhan Gulshan Yadav had installed 10 sets of Blue and Green dustbins in his village Dolcha. People are gradually getting used to the new habit of not littering.
Vijay Giri gifted a self-made toilet to his wife (Brijesh) and daughter on the occasion of Karva Chauth festival. He was keen to make it convenient for them to perform their ablutions and ensure their safety at the same time.