Since taking oath as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has made a strong pitch for his flagship Swachh Bharat Mission. Be it from the ramparts of the Red Fort or in rallies across the country, PM Modi has exhorted people to build toilets and use them.
Since taking oath as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has made a strong pitch for his flagship Swachh Bharat Mission. Be it from the ramparts of the Red Fort or in rallies across the country, PM Modi has exhorted people to build toilets and use them. While the government’s claims of the success of the government’s mission have earned praise and criticism in equal measure, there is one man in West Bengal who seems to have taken the PM’s cleanliness mission as an inspiration. A youth in West Bengal has constructed a toilet with bottles. Akash Bhowmik, a resident of East Burdwan district, has built a toilet with bottles filled with sand as he had so far been unable to build a toilet because of monetary issues.
Now, his toilet has become a tourist place in Purbasthali area in East Burdwan, located over 120 km from Kolkata. Akash has also said that the toilet is environment-friendly as people are generally unaware of what to do with bottles. According to Akash, this is also cost-effective because a piece of brick comes at Rs 10 whereas bottles filled with sand won’t cost much.
What is truly heart-warming is that his innovative thinking has now inspired other villagers to build toilets using bottles and locals feel that this could bring an end to the issue of open defecation.
During the Winter session of Parliament, the government had informed Rajya Sabha that 561.75 lakh toilets have been built under the Swachh Bharat Mission (rural). Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi said nearly 29.08 lakh toilets were constructed under the MGNREGA and seven states/UTs were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Watch this video
Notably, the Mamata Banerjee government has been running ‘Mission Nirmal Bangla’ to achieve ODF status. West Bengal government has aimed to make the state open defecation free by August 2019. Apart from this, the ruling TMC government has been stressing on the use and maintenance of toilets in the districts. It has directed that toilets must be maintained by those who are using them. Non-maintenance will make the toilets unfit, leading to open defecation again, a government official was quoted as saying by PTI. The state government is being assisted by UNICEF and some NGOs in creating awareness among the people.