ODF Verification
Mission Nirmal Bangla

Project : Third Party Agency for ODF Verification, Facilitation and Certification of Urban Areas in Hooghly, North 24Parganas and East Midnapur Districts of West Bengal
Project Area : Urban Sector in Hooghly, Uraban & Rural Sector in North 24Parganas and East Midnapur District of West Bengal
Client : Panchayat & Rural Development Department, Govt. of West Bengal and State Urban Development Authority (SUDA) through District Authorities
Project Duration : August 2016 to December 2016 

On 2nd of October, 2014, the Government of India restructured the erstwhile Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) as Swachha Bharat Mission (Gramin) with the mandate of making the country ODF by 2nd October, 2019. Government of West Bengal had already started its journey towards achieving ODF and became a front liner in rural sanitation. It has steadily contributed to the list of ODF districts. After the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission by the Government of India, the State Government decided to converge its efforts with the new restructured programme towards realizing a common objective of achieving ODF and to make a cleanlier environment & surroundings under the state brand name of “Mission Nirmal Bangla”. For reaching the objective, an all-out effort was started through constituting a state Mission under the aegis of the Panchayats and Rural Development Department in the State Government. Mission Nirmal Bangla has the following major thrust areas –

All the households to have access to sanitation
All members of all households use the toilets
All places of public congregation to have community has sanitation facilities
The village surroundings are to be kept clean

Across India, many villages have been declared as ODF. Various states have also declared themselves as ODF. Reaching ODF status is a complicated process involving thorough behaviour change. However, even after reaching ODF status, sustenance is often a challenging task involving focused and continued efforts of the community. It has been observed in the past that various villages have slipped back to open defecation even after achieving ODF status. For this purpose, a close monitoring of the verifiable indicators of ODF is required to be carried out frequently. This necessitates close engagement within the local authority as well as the community. Some activities related to ODF Plus status are as follows:

Cleanliness of Water Sources and public water bodies
Decentralized Solid & Liquid Waste Management
3 Rs (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse)
Cleanliness of Drains
Maintenance of school and Anganwadi toilets
Hand washing in schools before mid-day meals
Awareness and training on pit emptying and faecal sludge management

In an effort to maintain sustainability in a long run that will lead to betterment of lives of rural areas in the state, the State Government has decided to carry out an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status monitoring in the ODF districts and GP / Sansad areas on a continued basis.

Under this circumstance, Panchayats & Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal intends to conduct an ODF Facilitation, Verification and Certification activities by the State level facilitative agencies for the mentioned eight districts in a systematic and scientific manner and hence intends to engage independent agencies for conducting the above verification studies to ascertain the claim of achievement of ODF status. The Department intends to incorporate evidence-based monitoring models for sustainable sanitation by introducing Mobile-to-Web (MZW) Random Real-time monitoring System (RRTM).

Hooghly, North 24-Parganas, Purba Midnapur districts had been targeted to be declared as ODF district by September, 2016 with both its Rural and Urban Constituents being certified as ODF considering their rapid progress.

The objectives of the verification exercise have been to:

Ensure all the Wards of the urban areas  are Open Defecation Free (ODF) with
– All the households having access to sanitation facilities at the household/ community level
– All the members of all the households are using the toilets, all  time- all the days
– There are no visible sign of open defecation in the area
All school going students have access to toilets in school and are using it regularly and all members of their families have access to toilets and are  using toilets regularly
All SHGs and all the members of their families have access to household or community toilets and are using toilet

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