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The Union Territory (UT) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in western India that consists of two separate geographical entities: Nagar Haveli – wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, and the smaller enclave of Dadra, to the northwest, which is surrounded by Gujarat; was declared open defecation free (ODF) in February 2018. Sustainability of ODF status has been maintained through convergence with all departments for both physical and financial support.
Convergence: Team SBM-G worked alongside District Rural Development Agencies for both physical and financial support; and with PWD – Irrigation, Panchayat Raj Institutions and private contractors for operational support. There was absolute synchronization among all levels of officials.
Inter-state study visits: The UT that consists of one district, 20 Gram Panchayats (GPs), 70 villages and 52,353 households had also organized cross visits to Tamil Nadu for their engineers, to study the TN model of solid and liquid waste management. Having studied the operations and procedures followed to manage waste there; they will put in place similar systems to manage their solid and liquid waste in the UT.
Among the aspects studied were the roles of various employees – workers, drivers, supervisors; transportation used – sweeper trucks, tricycles, pushcarts, tempos and chhota hathi; finances required – one time grant for clean and contingencies; estimated cost of setting up compost pits and segregation plants; cleaning equipment used – twin dustbins for dry and wet waste collection, and household bins. In addition, an amount of Rs. 20,000 had to be provided for purchasing implements such as – brooms (small and long handle), aluminum baskets, spades, long handle steel for scrapping, axe, shovel, crowbar, sieve, first aid kid, weighing machines, protective layer for dumping pit.
ODF Sustainability: The UT administration had followed the Ministry Guidelines from the outset and also planned some interventions of its own to fight the problem of open defecation. Having achieved its ODF target, it went on to strengthen ODF sustainability.
From time to time, the community is mobilized so they continue to adopt safe sanitation practices and monitoring is strengthened with the help of swachhagrahis and Nigrani Samitis to make certain that ODF status is maintained. IEC activities to keep people aware of the need to keep their village and surroundings clean include Nukkad Natak, skits, toilet movie shows, candle march, torch light inspection, Raatri Chaupal, handwashing exercises and routine inspection.
Awards: While the best Swachhagrahis and best Gram Panchayats are given State awards; best Swachhagrahis and best performing villages are presented with district awards. Such awards while recognizing hard work also motivate village communities to make hygiene and sanitation an integral part of their lives.
[ The Blog was first published on https://sbmgramin.wordpress.com/]