The Chhattisgarh government said today that it has made more than 14,000 villages in the state open defecation free (ODF). The state government has plans to become an entirely ODF state by October 2018. This is being considered a major achievement since open defecation has been identified as a major sanitation and health problem in developing countries such as India. Speaking about the progress made towards ODF, a Panchayat and Rural Development Department official in Chhattisgarh said, “Under the Prime Minister’s clean India mission, we have made 14,064 villages of the state open defecation free.” The state of Chhattisgarh has 27 districts and out of these, five have now been made open defecation free. These ODF districts are Dhamtari, Mungeli, Rajnandgaon, Sarguja and Durg.
In the five districts, 83 development blocks and 7984 gram panchayats have now become open defecation free. To encourage people to quit open defecation, the state government, in collaboration with the central government, has built 26,10,225 toilets so far in the state of Chhattisgarh. It may be recalled that under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, the central government has planned to make the entire country open defecation free by October 2, 2019. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said that the state will achieve its target a lot earlier in 2018.