Toilets for all – Nadia No. 1 district in India

Nadia district of West Bengal has secured the first position in the country in the Nirmal Bharat programme and has been shortlisted for the United Nations global award for public service.

In the category, ‘Toilets for Everyone’, the district now has 100% facility with modern toilets in every household. It is now a ‘Nirmal Zilla’.

Three districts of the State -Hooghly, North 24 Parganas and Bardhaman, at 80% each, are on the verge of completing the 100% mark soon.

About the scheme

The scheme “Sobar Souchagar”, meaning toilets for all, was launched in 2013. For the “Sobar Souchagar” programme, no additional funds were allocated by the state government, but available funds from government schemes like ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ (NBA) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) were pooled together to achieve the feat in less than two years. For constructing toilets, labour cost was borne under NREGA while raw materials for building toilets came from NBA. The scheme has attracted the notice of the United Nations and has been shortlisted for the United Nation’s global award for public service.

To change this social behaviour, the administration started a new practice of oath-taking by children in schools that they will ensure total sanitation in their house. This was done every Monday at every government school. Over 8.5 lakh children in 4,200 schools have taken this pledge so far. This has proved to be the biggest gamechanger as children went home and forced their parents also to use toilets.

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