Rangsapara’s journey from the cleanest to an ODF Plus Model village

Having achieved the coveted title of the cleanest village in Assam in 2017, achieving the ODF Plus Model status in October 2021 was both a natural outcome and a laudable triumph for Rangsapara village.  In this village which is situated about 16 km from Goalpara town and home to 118 households from the Christian Garo tribe, the people believe in the importance of cleanliness in and around their households and community spaces.

With the inception of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen in 2014, the residents of Rangsapara along with the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) worked together to achieve ODF status for the landlocked village that was surrounded by hillocks, paddy fields, and rubber trees.  While the PHED of Goalpara ensured that every household had access to sanitary toilets, the people of Rangsapara decided that open defecation would be made an offense and anyone found practicing it would be fined an amount of Rs.5001.

Notably, IEC activities were extensively conducted to spread awareness of safe sanitation practices, and every household would maintain cleanliness in and around their homes.  This resulted in Rangsapara being declared the cleanest village in Assam on 8th February 2017 by the Assam Conference on Sanitation (ASCOSAN).

Mr. Roberth John Momin, the village headman of Rangsapara has been heading the Jan Andolan (people’s movement) for attaining Sampoorna Swachhata in Rangspara under SBM-G Phase II.  To begin with, to sustain the ODF status, a community sanitary complex to cater to passers-by and tourists was constructed and operated on the ‘pay and use’ method.   Additionally, a material collection facility was constructed for the segregation and storage of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.  While the biodegradable waste was used for the preparation of compost, the non-biodegradable waste that consisted of paper, metal, glass, and plastic was sold to recyclers at the Gram Panchayat level.   The PHED also provided a containerised tricycle for the collection and transportation of waste.  As far as greywater management was concerned, community soak pits were constructed, a method that treated wastewater and helped enhance the groundwater table.

As early as February 2017, the people of Rangsapara took an oath to ban the use of single-use plastics.   Further, extensive IEC campaigns were held around the village to sustain ODF status and bring about the desired behaviour change among the community in terms of solid and liquid waste management and ensuring visual cleanliness.

Given that Rangsapara has successfully fulfilled all the swachhata parameters, it was declared as an ODF Plus village on 2nd October 2021.  The achievement is an example of how the government and the public can work together to create a positive change for the making of a Swachh Assam and a Swachh Bharat.


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