Maigoor residents patrol to prevent open defecation

Maigoor residents patrol to prevent open defecation

Residents of Maigoor in Jamakhandi taluk of Bagalkot district patrol the village to prevent open defecation.

Old habits die hard and so are the practices among the villagers of Maigoor in Jamakhandi taluk of Bagalkot district.

A few months ago 700 toilets were constructed at a cost of Rs 1 crore in the village and it was declared as an open defecation-free village. But the people have refused to leave their old habit.

Some progressive villagers, determined to make the village free from open defecation, have now launched patrolling on the outskirts of the village to prevent cases of open defecation.

The government has constructed the toilets for 700 houses of the village, besides supplying water from the nearby Krishna River. But the villagers choose to lock the toilets and rush to outskirts of the village to relieve themselves.

Realising that the grants spent by the government will go waste, the villagers, led by the Gram Panchayat development officer (PDO), got together and formed a team of like-minded people to form a patrolling committee. The committee members now patrol with drums and whistles so that no villager is allowed to visit the outskirts for defecation.

“The committee patrols the village outskirts for six hours early in the morning from 4 to 10 am and late in the evening from 6 to 11 pm. We have divided the volunteers into various groups and each team will carry out patrolling according to the roaster,” PDO S A Saravana explained. “Many villages are trying hard to end open defecation. But in Maigoor, people have failed to use what has been provided to them by the government. The Gram Panchayat alone cannot bring about the change among the villagers. Now that a few have come forward, we will ensure that all the villagers fall in line,” Gram Panchayat member Ashok Sadalagi said.