With a view to motivating beneficiaries towards sustained usage of toilets, the district administration of Ranchi has organized solar based LED lights.
“It was an initiative by our own field staff. When light in the toilets are powered by solar light and do not depend on electricity which is fluctuating or irregular, we can be certain that the people will use them,” said District Collector, Ranchi, Mr. Mahimapat Ray.
Beneficiaries are very happy with the initiative as they can use the toilet without difficulty at night, he added, of the step to ensure sustainability. In addition, a water tap connection has been fixed just outside each facility.
Earlier, the district officials noticed that in the absence of power, people would resort to relieving themselves outdoors. This was defeating the purpose of the behavioral change as envisaged in the Swachh Bharat Mission.
“Sanitation was not a big priority in the villages prior to the launch of SBM Scheme. Since the roll of the sanitation scheme, there has been huge behavioural change among the people. However, there was an underlying gap of decline in the usage of toilets due to lack of lighting during the nights,” the DC explained. Taking all the above observations in consideration, the administration has started installing Solar LED lights in the toilets. The initiative has increased the usage of the toilets in the installed ones drastically.
The solar LEDs are being provided through VWSC and through 14 FC funds for the Panchayats. A total of 125 Households have been provided with 125 lights for the toilets. Each LED light costs Rs. 300/- There is also a complete convergence with UJALA Yojana which has a dual fold effect of increasing the cost and power efficiency. The government is planning to increase the coverage through CSR provision from electronics companies. The solar lights are very easy to install and require minimum effort for installation. The burn out period is more than 3 years which removes replacement problems.
In October 2014, the coverage of toilets in Ranchi was 17.72% where as the current coverage is 71.3%. A total of 2,60,000 toilets have been built under SBM. October 2018 is the target set and the administration is working on a mission mode to achieve the ODF target before that date.