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Karnataka campaign ahead of ODF deadline

In the last four years, the Karnataka government has constructed 22 lakh toilets in 29,736 villages and needs five lakh toilets more in its rural areas before October 2 in order to achieve the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF). Dr G Parameshwara, Deputy Chief Minister, Karnataka conducted Swachhameva Jayate, a rural cleanliness and sanitation campaign. The state-wide educative campaign aimed to boost the Swachh Survkekshan Grameen in all the districts with the help of school children.

While adult behaviour towards hygiene will take time and effort to change, children are a lot more amenable to change. Children are spontaneous, honest and full of infectious energy. They have the power to create the India of tomorrow, he said.

When every village, every district of Karnataka is clean, practices hygienic toilet habits, is free from stagnant water and is litter free, Karnataka will win.

The campaign included a door-todoor activity headed by children of primary and secondary schools. The children first imparted education on the cleanliness survey to be undertaken in rural areas across the country. The Swachh Survekshan Grameen judged villages and districts based on parameters of cleanliness, hygiene, toilet usage and waste management from August 1 to August 31.

Of the total 29,736 villages in the state’s rural areas, 20,826 villages have declared themselves free from open defecation. While 19,712 villages have undergone the third-party verification and received an ODF certificate from the Quality Council of India, the remaining villages have either applied for a thirdparty verification or are undergoing the same. The total sanitation coverage, presently, stands at 92.33 per cent from the previous 35.86 per cent during the launch of Clean India Mission in 2014.

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