Yadgir villages yet to say no for open defecation

Open defecation is still prevalent in some villages of Yadgir district. DH Photo/Pushkar V

In October last year, the Yadgir district was declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF). But...

On a stroll through some of the remote villages of the district a year later, it is hard not to miss the lumps of excreta on trails leading to paddy, cotton and tur dal fields, breaching the ODF facade. 

Despite efforts to encourage the use of toilets, the frowned-upon practice of open defecation for these villagers is a matter of keeping their houses and its immediate surroundings clean.

As a result, the concept of ODF village is still a pipe dream at Anakasugur and surrounding villages of Surpur taluk in Yadgir, despite contrary claims by the government. “Though government has built toilets, people prefer defecating going outside. They think going to a toilet near the houses is unclean,” explained Siddaramappa, a resident of the village.

Shankargouda Malipatil, a gram panchayat member, feels that just building toilets was not enough to rid the villagers of this practice. “It’s not just kids who do that. People of all ages defecate in the open due to beliefs which has encouraged this habit,” he said. Drives to create awareness too hasn’t yielded the required results, he added.

A similar scenario persists in Herur, Yatgal and other villages of Raichur district.

When contacted, Raichur Zilla Panchayat deputy secretary Y M Mohammed Yousuf said that toilet use had improved over the past few years. “In some villages around 80% of the residents use toilets, while it is 50% in others. We are now trying to inculcate the habit of using toilets by conducting awareness programmes, especially in schools where children are taught the importance of sanitation and use of toilets,” he said.

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