(The Gist of Kurukshetra) COMMUNITY INVOLMENT, PARTICIPATION TO ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY TO ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY IN ARARIA
Community Involvement, Participation to Ensure Sustainability in Araria
Araria is one of the most backward districts in Bihar as per various parameters. However, it has set a benchmark by crossing 50 per cent sanitation coverage, despite enormous challenges. To maintain the sustainability, the district administration is ensuring community involvement and participation.
One of the 38 districts of Bihar, Araria made up of 9 Blocks is primarily a rural district where 93% of the total population lives in rural areas. As per the National Health Survey findings of 2008, the district lagged behind the all India average in seven out of eight indicators as also in two additional health related indicators. Agriculture labourers dominate the labour force 64.7%) which is almost double of the national average.
Under the circumstances, taking the sanitation coverage up from 24.50% to 50.24% has been very challenging, to say the least. As many as 1,65,949 toilets were built in the last 158 days
(between 1st January and 8th August, 2018) taking the sanitation coverage from 24.50% to 50.05%, under the inspirational leadership of District Collector.
Other challenges could be attributed to change in leadership at both block and panchayat levels. Not letting this hinder progress, the DC carried out regular and robust monitoring and motivation of his team, inspiring officials to go the extra mile towards bringing about sanitation.
The district still has a long way to go to achieve its target and ensure future sustainability. But the officials believe that the communities have to be brought on board in every village, to make the mission 3 success.
A sanitation park was also set up in every block with a model toilet to inspire communities. In addition, a pool of swachhagraha was created who went from home to home to motivate families and bring about behaviour change. There was also a pool of masons in place to take care of toilet construction.