In their desperation, officials are adopting coercive ways to stop open defecation. There are many ethical and practical challenges in achieving the target.
The morning sun has just begun creeping over the horizon of Mehtab Shah Kachhi Basti, an illegal settlement in Rajasthan's Pratapgarh district. Three municipal council employees and Nagar Parishad Com missioner Ashok Jain have their eyes on people coming out of the shanties. They start clicking photographs as soon as four women squat down to perform the morning ablution in an open field. Or, at least, that's what the women thought who start screaming for help as the officials approach the field. Zafar Hussain, a social activist in his mid-40s who happened to be in the nearby area, rushes to their rescue. The officials do not like the interference, and a violent altercation ensues. Hours later, Hussain is declared dead. He is survived by two daughters and wife Rasheeda.