'Swachh Bharat': 2.5 lakh people to take oath to use toilets
Kolkata: Pledging never to defecate in the open, around 2.5 lakh people in Nadia district will form a first-of-its-kind 122-km-long human chain this Saturday.
The district administration, which is running the 'Sobar Souchagar' (toilets for all) campaign similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharat' movement, has already approached both the Limca and the Guinness World Records team to validated the record of the longest human chain.
"It is probably going to be one of the longest such human congregation against the menace of open defecation, anywhere in our country or outside," Nadia district magistrate P B Salim told PTI. He said that this is a part of our series of campaigns for constant and extensive behaviour change communication against open defecation.
"A person who has been going out in the open since generations cannot be expected to use toilets suddenly. We need a 360-degree approach for enforcement," Salim said. The oath will be a promise to get out of this shame of defecating in the open. People will also pledge not to allow anyone in their family or neighbourhood to do it under the open sky.
Under the 'Sobar Souchagar' movement they have already constructed around 2.72 lakh toilets during the last 1.5 years while the remaining 42,000 would be ready within this April.
The human chain will stretch from southern end to northern end of the district (from Jaguli to Pallasi) along the National Highway 34, for a length of about 122 km. Formed mostly by the newly-converts (persons who used to practice open defecation earlier), the chain of 2.5 lakh people will also include women and students of high school and colleges.
The Akasawani radio transmission will be used for dissemination of oath and commands across the 122 km human chain. Nadia is eyeing an open defecation free status by April this year, which will be validated by UNICEF and an NGO headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.