April 30, 2017
Nirmal Bangla Dibas: Celebrating a cleanlier environment and a healthier life
On April 30, 2015, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared, at a function in Krishnanagar, Nadia as India’s first open defecation-free (ODF) district. Henceforth, April 30 has been celebrated as Nirmal Bangla Dibas in Bengal.
This was the first milestone of Mission Nirmal Bangla, meant to make Bengal open defecation-free in order to make for a cleanlier environment and consequently, a healthier life.
For Nadia to achieve ODF status, the district administration, under the aegis of the State Government, had adopted a programme called ‘Sabar Souchagar’ (Toilets for All). This initiative of the State Government achieved international recognition when it was selected as the first place winner for the 2015 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of ‘Improving the Delivery of Public Services’.
Since then, a total of five districts of Bengal have achieved the ODF status – Nadia, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur and Cooch Behar.
Two more are going to be declared as ODF districts soon – South 24 Parganas and Bardhaman.
Mission Nirmal Bangla has truly been leading the way for India. Among the first four districts in India to be declared as ODF districts, three were from Bengal. With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the helm of affairs, Bengal is achieving distinctions galore.