Swachh initiative changes quality of life

New learnings: Adilabad district Swacch Bharat Prerak (left) Ch. Madhumitha interacting with villagers at Mohanguda in Indervelli mandal.S. Harpal Singh   | Photo Credit: S_HARPALSINGH

Opting for the Swachh Bharat kind of sanitation has bestowed multiple benefits on the 38 Adivasi Raj Gond families of tiny Mohanguda hamlet in Indervelli mandal of Adilabad district.

During the last two years the villagers neither faced acute drinking water shortage nor had any health issues thanks to the Swachh Bharat initiative in the habitation.

“No villager needed paracetamol tablets in 2016 and 2017 as there were no incidence of fever thanks to the sanitation brought about by the Swachh Bharat soak pits,” local Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency member Kova Rajeshwar explained to Ch. Madhumitha, district Swachh Bharat Prerak when she visited the hamlet few days ago. “Malaria, our scourge, now seems to be a thing of the past,” he declared with an expression of relief. “We benefited from both the latrines and the soak pits built in front of the toilets. The latrines ended the incidence of open defecation and the soak pits controlled water stagnation in open places as all the water from bathrooms and other places went into them,” explained Madavi Jaldevi, a housewife.

No medical emergency

It was not just vector-borne diseases which tormented the aboriginal people, open defecation had seen two villagers die of snake bite in the last few years. However, there was no alternative until the Swachh Bharat campaign arrived.

“Our expenditure on health has gone down considerably. There was no medical emergency except deliveries in our habitation during the last one year,” disclosed elderly Thodasam Dharmu.The hamlet has three bores which take care of its drinking water needs. One by one the bores used to go dry starting December.

Ground water

“The bores are yielding water even now apparently because of the soak pits. We assume that we will not have to face shortage of water this summer,” sarpanch Madavi Kameshwari hoped.

“The novel initiative did not cut ice with the villagers initially. We could achieve a change in their behaviour through unstinted interactions and creation of awareness,” recalled Rathod Rajeshwar, who was District Rural Development Officer during the crucial phase in the latter half of 2015 when the administration started grounding Swachh Bharat in the habitation.

Mr. Rajeshwar also revealed that 48 two-bedroom houses have been sanctioned in the village in response to their initiative. The approach road will also be black topped as per the demand of the villagers, he added.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 2:34:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/swachh-initiative-changes-quality-of-life/article22423251.ece

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