‘Swachh Bharat sentinels’ fight open defecation
Krishnagar: At the break of dawn, a group of ‘Swachh Bharat sentinels’ gather themselves in villages here to vociferously rebuke those defecating in the open.
73-year-old villager Pramila Mondol is one such member of the ‘Para Nazardari (Neighbourhood Monitoring) Committee, formed by the Nadia district administration to keep a tab on anyone attending nature’s call in the open.
A stretch along the river Ganges flowing near her house in Belgoria village had turned into an open toilet with a group of 40 to 50 people using it daily.
Things changed after the widow started walking along that zone along with other volunteers and began reprimanding offenders.
“She is like a motherly figure in the locality and so people listened to her. Now that area is no more polluted. With these committees we are trying to change the behaviour of people when it comes to relieving themselves. We have been successful so far,” Nadia district magistrate P B Salim told PTI.
It has been noticed that even after having access to toilets, many villagers still prefer to defecate in the open as they have been doing it for generations.
Blowing whistles as they walk along, volunteers monitor sites of open defecation regularly. Some of them even carry short sticks only to scare away defecators.