Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh’S Urban Areas Declared Open Defecation Free- Important [ Current Affairs ]
Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh’s urban areas are declared open defecation free (ODF) by the Union Urban Development Ministry on second anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission and 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2016. These two states are first to become open defecation free in urban areas.
- Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani declared 180 cities and towns as ODF whereas Andhra Pradesh CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu announced 110 cities and towns as ODF.
- Previously 405 out of the 4,041 cities and towns were selected from across India to become open defecation free.
- Union Government’s goal is to make more than 334 cities open defecation free till March 2017.
- Government is organizing many programs and recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi honored Kunwar Bai as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Mascot .
- Currently Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala have more than 90% sanitation coverage in households whereas rural areas of Bihar, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir have less than 30% of households with toilets.
What is Open Defecation?
- Open defecation is the practice of defecating in open spaces such as fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water mainly due to unavailability of proper sanitation facilities like toilets. This leads to spread of many diseases such as intestinal worm infections, diarrhea, hepatitis etc.
- The challenge is to make the masses aware about adverse health impact of open defecation, change the habit of people. Of course, this has to be complemented with infrastructural support by building community toilets, sanitation facilities etc.
- Published on: October 5, 2016