'Roar' makes UP villages open defecation free

Representative image.

What the officials of two Uttar Pradesh districts in the arid Bundelkhand region of the state could not do despite trying their best was achieved by a 'roar'.

A tiger, which has strayed into Hamirpur and Mahoba districts in UP, about 250 kilometres from here, has ''ensured'' that more than half a dozen ''errant'' villages in the two districts become 'open defecation free' (ODF).

According to the officials, the tiger, which might have strayed from the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, was seen prowling in Kunehti and Gyoda villages in the districts. Mahoba shared borders with MP.

The teams of the forest department have been camping in the districts to trap the tiger. ''The big cat was first sighted around five days back,'' said a forest official in Mahoba on Saturday.

''We have put cages at places, where the tiger was sighted...we have also roped in the experts,'' he added.

While the forest officials were busy trying to catch the big cat, the district officials have heaved a sigh of relief after reports that the people in more than half a dozen villages have stopped going out in the open to answer the call of nature.

''We had been trying to make these village ODF for the past several months....every house in these villages has toilets yet many people still preferred to defecate in the open.....after the report of a sighting of the tiger they have stopped going out,'' remarked a district official in Mahoba.

The official was, however, not sure it would continue even after the big cat was caught.

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