Port Blair, April 4: After an unrelenting battle against open defecation that lasted more than a year, Andaman and Nicobar became an open defecation free (ODF) island before the set target. With this development, Andaman and Nicobar islands has become a union territory to become ODF. This feat has been possible largely because of the initiative to build community toilets.
Viewing the necessity to promote sanitation, the people following the Swacchta Abhiyaan Mission have looked forward to gift themself a place that is defecation free. According to the study conducted, it was found that 7,000 people were defecating in the open for lack of access to toilets. The survey also revealed that, in a city of 1.59 lakh people, 1,600 households did not have toilets.
Implying to this, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar island, Port Blair became Open Defecation Free last year. The Port Blair Municipal Council sanctioned Rs 2.5 crore for the construction of community toilets. However, the solution was not just to build toilets but also to make sure that they were accessible to everyone. Hence, to make both the existing and newly built toilets accessible, the government has started building concrete paths leading to them.
The capital city has conducted ward sabhas in the past year to create awareness and teach the people about maintaining the toilets. By giving the responsibility of maintaining the toilets to the people, the government aims at bringing in a sense of ownership, ensuring they are used properly.