A walk through Bhojpur district of Bihar and you are bound to come across large hoardings measuring 20X10 feet featuring swachhata champions who have made significant contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), bringing about behavior change and observance of safe sanitation practices.
Such hoardings can be found at 12 locations with names and pictures of as many as 32 champions and the villages they belong to from all the 14 blocks of the district, with a brief description of their achievement, according to Zila Swachh Bharat Prerak (ZSBP), Mr. Nikhil Singh.
In the pipeline are plans to build a wall of swachhata champions.
Featured among the champions are:
Singhasan Yadav, a retired military cadet who earlier practiced open defecation, never fully understood the need to use a toilet. Unfortunately, he contracted some infection that left him partially paralysed. With plenty of time to ponder over matters, he now has understood the reason to adopt hygienic practices. “Why wait until you are weak, old or disabled – start using a toilet now,” he tells all the people he meets every day. He also actively informs them about the faecal oral route to disease transmission.
Beauty Kumari knew fully well the need to use a toilet. Having learnt about the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) campaign as a part of the school sanitation programme, she did not want to go home during her vacation as her home did not have a toilet. Adamant, she sat in a crowded market place, refusing to go home, until her family members came and got her, promising to get a toilet built at home soon.
Radha Rani Devi who had leprosy earlier suffered from speech and hearing impairment. She was often seen wandering about, begging people for money. When the SBM-G campaign was being implemented in her village, she understood the message clearly. She was so convinced about the need to use a toilet that she managed to acquire a toilet pan. Thereafter, she dug a pit and arranged bamboo and old sarees as a drape and used the toilet. Seeing her eagerness for a toilet, the district administration completed the toilet for her.
Inputs: ZSBP-Bhojpur, Nikhil Singh