Koraput: Setting an example, a village in Odisha`s Koraput district has become free of open defecation with each of its 45 families having constructed toilets in their houses.
For the past two years, around 220 tribal villagers of Bondaguda under Similiguda block in the district have been using toilets after the village committee banned open defecation.
"Bondaguda is the first village of the district which has been declared `open defecation free`. It has set an example for others to follow. Now we aim to make the entire Similiguda block open defecation free," Koraput collector Sachin Jadhav said.
The village, about 45 km from here, has shown a marked decrease in incidence of diseases since open defecation stopped, according to the villagers.
"All the 45 Kandh families now have their own toilets. There is strict ban on open defecation in the village," said Narang Pujari, president of Bondaguda Mahila Mandal.
"Since we started using toilets not a single case of diarrhoea or malaria has been reported at our village," said Juruko Pujari, a village women.
It took a series of awareness camps organised by the district administration to make the villagers conscious about the ill-effects of defecating in the open.
Initially, the tribals were reluctant to construct toilets at their homes but when they were made to realise, through street plays and posters, how they were suffering from various diseases like diarrhoea and malaria due to defecating in the open their mindset gradually changed, Debasish Patnaik, coordinator of district water and sanitary mission said.
The tribals were provided training in constructing toilets and Rs 2,200 was given by the administration to each of of the 31 BPL families of the village to built toilets.