The District Collector of Medak, K Dharma Reddy, got down into a toilet pit and emptied organic manure with his bare hands during a workshop on Sustainability of ODF conducted by the Swachh Bharat Mission in Pune.
The workshop was organized to show how night soil could be converted into organic manure. The staff then demonstrated the process, after which, the district collector without any hesitation did the same and emptied the organic dung with his bare hands.
“There is no need to hesitate to touch it since it was transformed into organic manure,” Dharma Reddy said. Medak last year was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), making it the 8th district in Telangana to be declared ODF.
Practices like manual scavenging, although banned, are widely followed in various states. Members of scheduled castes, especially Dalits are forced to work in deplorable conditions. One of the main culprits behind the continuing of this practice is the Indian Railways, contributing towards the majority of waste scavenged unsafely. Such practices should be considered inhuman, and states should try to move towards cleaner ways through better infrastructure.
Awareness about sanitation and initiatives towards a cleaner and greener environment are key for sustainable development. Many diseases and epidemics can be rooted only by improving sanitation practices.
Telangana now is a step closer to becoming an Open Defecation Free State. According to a report by The Economic Times, till now 11 States have been declared ODF – Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya.