With a view to ensuring ODF (open defecation free) sustainability, the district administration of Allahabad has put in place various measures such as ODF verification, geo-tagging, retrofitting, among others; along with the implementation of innovative IEC activities to bring about sustained behavior change.
According to Chief Development Officer (CDO), Allahabad, Mr. Samuel Paul, the district has appointed as many as 123 youngsters from District Crime Prevention Committee and Nehru Yuva Kendra to carry out third party verification of ODF declared villages. To prepare them for the task, a one day workshop was held to orient them about various parameters to verify an ODF village.
Currently, of the 2501 ODF declared villages, 460 villages have been verified. The villages which comply with the ODF declaration parameters will then have to undergo a Divisional level verification. As for villages which do not comply, they are given a month’s time to rectify matters, after which the 3rd party carries out the verification process again.
Given that Geo-tagging is crucial for monitoring of the toilets built, allowing a photograph to be associated with a particular location, the district administration organized a workshop with special focus on Geo-tagging at the district level that saw the participation of Block Coordinators and Safai Karamcharis. Participants were trained on how to use mSBM app. Thereafter, in view of the huge target of the district, a second workshop was held for GPAs (Gram Panchayat Adkhikaris), GVAs (Gram Vikas Adkhikaris) and Safai Karamcharis. To date, the district has 659 active users who upload photographs on the app. Weekly review meetings are held at the district level to review photo-uploading progress.
The district has identified homes that have septic tanks attached to their household toilets and homes where vent pipes are fixed to their twin pits; and hence in need of retrofitting. For both these categories, continuous triggering and follow-up is done by swachhagrahis and nigrani samitis to ensure that soak pits are built for septic tanks to drain into and vent pipes are removed from twin pits where they are not needed. Further, in convergence with other departments of the district, the Panchayati Raj Department consistently monitors progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen campaign to ensure transparency in the all processes.
Having identified around 43000 dysfunctional toilets until November 2017, the district administration had organized regular triggering and follow-up by swachhagrahis, nigrani samitis and Gram Pradhans and together with beneficiary efforts and ably supported through district review meetings, all dysfunctional toilets were successful converted into functional ones. As per ground reports there are NIL dysfunctional toilets in the district.
Swachhagrahis have been playing a vital role in the sanitation campaign. The district currently has 950 active swachhagrahis who have undergone 5 days CLTS training. Given the charge of 3 villages each, the motivators are regularly engaged in triggering, follow-up and door to door survey. It is largely owing to these swachhagrahis’ efforts that the district has 2501 ODF declared villages. Further, periodic refresher trainings are organised to keep them active and motivated.
Earlier, Swachhagrahis had worked during the Magh Mela for sanitation awareness, promoting both toilet usage and solid and liquid waste management. At the upcoming Kumbh Mela from January- March 2019, around 1500 swachhagrahis have been engaged to bring about sanitation awareness. So far, a total of 69 lakhs has been paid to swachhagrahis as incentive for their contribution to the mission.
A survey is currently underway to identify homes left out of the Baseline survey of 2012, carried out by field level karamcharis working under the Panchayati Raj department with support from other field level officers under Gram Vikas. Special attention has been given to include widow-headed houses, differently-abled individuals, small and marginal farmers and the most impoverished in the village. The task is carried out through door to door survey and Gram Sabha Baithak (village meetings). Identified beneficiaries will be updated on the SBM website in November when a module will be added. The district also actively seeks CSR funding.
Among Allahabad’s IEC activities are: hand washing awareness exercises, swachhata raths, posters and banners, slogans/wall paintings, puppet and magic shows, rallies by school children, painting competitions – all on the swachhata theme. In addition, important days are celebrated with shramdan, and creating awareness about plastic prohibition, and solid and liquid waste management.
Allahabad has set a target of becoming ODF by November 30, 2018.