The Central Government’s scheme to keep the surroundings clean, has been turned into a joke in Uttar Pradesh, where authorities have declared Jamalpur village open defecation free (ODF), without building a single toilet.
However, the reality is a little different here – people have to rush to the fields in the mornings to relieve themselves because there no toilets in the village. According to a report in Dainik Jagran, the ODF declaration in the village hints at widespread corruption in the scheme run in the district.
The residents of the village also said that they feel betrayed by the decision taken by the panchayat authorities. Around 2,500 people live in this village, but there isn’t even one government toilet. Villagers say that the biggest problems are faced by the women and girls who are also forced to defecate in the fields. Villagers also said that they can’t even build private toilets as they do not have enough funds for it.
Ward Councillor Karan Kushwaha said that the village was declared ODF without being consulted. “Tenders were approved three months ago for building public toilets. But villagers are opposing them. Private toilets can’t be built in people’s homes as many of them are living in farmland. We will soon identify the land and build toilets,” said Devhuti Pandey, Executive Officer, Akbarpur Nagar panchayat.
Global Interfaith WASH Alliance
Due to lack of facilities, people, especially women and girls are forced to do their business out in the open. This is also caused a rise in the number of rape and molestation incidents in the village.