Nasik targets on becoming completely free of open defecation by May 2015 and also becoming the first tehsil to achieve the defecation-free tag in North Maharashtra. Most of the families in Nashik Taluka have attached toilets and the officials have chalked out plans to cover the remaining area by next year. Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan has deciphered the shortcomings regarding hygiene in our country.
Nashik Taluka has 77 villages and 64 gram panchayats. A baseline survey conducted by the Zilla Parishad in 2012 showed that 26,886 families didn’t have toilets in their households. However, around 18,225 families, which is about 68% of the total families in Nashik Taluka had toilets in their houses by October end this year. Block development officer Ravindra Pardeshi said, “The remaining 8,671 families, about 32% of those without toilets in the houses, will get funds for the construction.”
The taluka has 108 primary schools, 203 anganwadis, 46 private schools, 28 health sub centers and 15 veterinary hospitals with public toilets. Dedicated toilets for ladies have also been constructed at 10 gram panchayats. Pardeshi said 32 of the 64 villages have received the Nirmal Gram Puraskar, which means they are open defecation free. “In the year 2012-13, another 10 gram panchayats were proposed to be declared under the same. For the remaining 32 gram panchayats, it is aimed that works of construction of toilets would be completed by May2015 before the Kumbh Mela starts.” He said.
The official said that major steps are being taken to achieve the target. “Toilet construction day is observed on every Tuesday. The entire village works to create awareness among villagers and construction of toilets during the day. The increase in prize money under Swachha Bharat Abhiyan has also helped encourage the villagers” said Pardeshi. With Swachha Bharat Abhiyan on its roll, special efforts are being taken by the people all over Nashik to keep their surroundings clean. Roadside beggars or needy people are making a conscious effort to not litter on the road and use public toilets provided to them.
The Zilla Parishad is also conducting training workshops for masons in respective villages. “Five-day workshops are conducted, where each mason is paid Rs. 150 per day and given the responsibility to construct toilets in their villages for which they also earn money from individuals. Fabricated toilets are also used in case of space constraints” Pardeshi added.