'Gandhigiri' to persuade people to use toilets in UP

'Gandhigiri' to persuade people to use toilets in UP

After having failed to persuade the people not to defecate in the open through other means, the Uttar Pradesh government has now decided to use ‘gandhigiri’ to check the habit and teach people lessons in hygiene and cleanliness.

The government plans to form special groups which will be called ‘toka-taki’. These groups in the rural areas will use Gandhian methods to convince people to shun the habit of defecating in the open and use toilets instead.

“The members of the group will spread the message of hygiene and sanitation among the people through traditional communication. and will also try to dissuade them from going out in the open to defecate,” an official said.

“They will offer flowers to such people, garland them and draw their attention by beating drums, the official added.

Model villages

“The government also plans to develop 3,500 villages as model villages where no one will have to defecate in the open,” officials added. The plan would also cover the villages affected by the dreaded encephalitis.

Open defecation was rampant not only in the rural areas but also in the big towns and cities. Defecating particularly along the banks of the rivers, has been identified as one of the major cause of pollution in the rivers.

Environmentalists have demanded imposing fines on people who defecate in the open polluting the Yamuna in Agra. But using public toilets is not a solution as unfortunately, they stink and choke people.

Free of cost

People do not want to pay to use toilets either. They feel there is no point for paying for something that can be done free of cost.

According to a report of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, around 1.2 billion people do not have access to toilets. India tops the table with 665 million people who use the open. In UP alone there are 2 crore homes without a toilet.

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