Earlier, Nadia became the country’s first district which was declared as Open defaction free.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced this at a function in Krishnanagar on April 30, 2015 and said that the day would be celebrated as Nirmal Bangla Divas every year.
However, it could not be celebrated in 2016 because of the Assembly election.
Burdwan and South 24 Parganas will be declared Open defaction free by March 2017. The Panchayat and Rural Development department has decided to declare all districts in Bengal Open defaction free by March 2019.
The Bengal government took Nirmal Bangla scheme before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014.
While addressing the District Magistrates at a meeting held in Nadia in 2013,
Subrata Mukherjee, minister for Panchayat and Rural development urged them to take a pledge to make the districts where they had been posted Open defaction free district.
The District Magistrates welcomed the move and accordingly plans were chalked out.
In Burdwan, the District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan has taken special drives to accelerate the move to make the district Open defaction free district. He often goes out early in the morning to oversee the work and ensure that people do not go out in the forests or bushes to defecate.
The district will be declared as an Open defaction free district by March 2017.The Panchayat and Rural Development department holds regular meetings to take a stock of the situation.
In Purulia district, the work was lagging behind but it had picked up and the district will be declared as Open defaction free district as per schedule.
The department has been carrying out massive awareness campaigns so that people use the toilets and do not go in the field to defecate. Though the toilets are constructed free of cost, they need maintenance.
Some NGOs and UNICEF have joined hands with the state government to create awareness among people.
Once people stop open defecation, their general health and hygiene in rural areas will improve.