PATNA: Even as around 16.5 million households still remain out of reach of toilets, a faraway district in India’s Bihar state has set a new record by digging 110,000 toilet pits in a single day.
The idea is part of the continuing campaign to make people know the importance of sanitation.
The district achieving the rare feat is Sitamarhi, the birth place of legendary Sita who is the main character the epic Ramayana. It is from Sita that the district has got its name.
Authorities said thousands of villagers joined the massive campaign launched by the local administration to dig toilet pits in their homes on Monday during which a total of 110,000 toilet pits were dug in between 9 in the morning to five in the evening.
The campaign nicknamed “Dig Out Pits, Construct Toilets” received massive support of the villagers after the local district magistrate Ranjit Kumar Singh personally got associated with the campaign and urged the masses dig out pits to help declare their district Open-defecation free”.
“This is a major step towards freeing this historic district from dirty tag of open defecation. We salute the zeal of the masses,” the district magistrate told the media on Monday evening. The district magistrate himself dug out one toilet pit at a Dalit hamlet in Dumra block.
In a bid to create mass awareness about the importance of sanitation, the official has also launched the “selfies with toilet” campaign in the district and has also announced to reward the best selfie.
Bihar remains one of the worst performers in matter of toilet construction and as per an official report, around 16.5 million households out of over 110 million populations in the state currently do not have toilets in their homes, forcing the people to defecate in the open.
Right now, only 308 villages out of total over 44,000 in Bihar have been declared free from open defecation.