When the nationwide Swachh Bharat campaign was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, one village in Andhra Pradesh passed the resolution of achieving 100% sanitation and cleanliness within 1,000 days.
Challapalli is a village that lies on the border of Krishna and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh.
And its people have been meticulously working towards achieving this feat and are quite close in doing so.
Katta Padmavathi, the sarpanch of the village, has been pivotal towards manoeuvring the campaign. Collaborating with Manakosam Manam Trust (MMT), the Swachh Challapalli campaign visualised complete eradication of practices like open defecation and dumping of garbage in open spots.
Reportedly, around 520 out of 4,850 households did not have a toilet on their premises. Over a span of two and half years, the campaign helped change that scenario and soon the village was declared open defecation free (ODF) on April 29 this year.
Underground drainage systems, public toilets, individual septic latrines and composting units that were amongst the tenets of the campaign have been converted into reality.
Every household in Challapalli were guided about waste segregation and its implementation.
Dr B.R.K Prasad and his wife, Dr Padmavati, the managing trustees of MMT foundation played an instrumental role in sensitising the villagers towards the cause.
“Volunteers from MMT and the village heads have taken the oath of swachhta under which they have to dedicate atleast 2 hours to activities like sweeping the roads, removing litter from public areas and cleaning vegetable mandis that fall under the Clean India Mission,” said Dr Prasad to NDTV.
As the campaign is approaching closer to its conclusion, the model adopted by the village is instilling the cleanliness wave in its neighbouring villages too.
“The inspiration given by Swachh Challapalli has kindled the cleanliness movement in 25 villages. Almost 1/3 of the ‘Avanigadda constituency’ is witnessing an evolving culture of selfless service of about 350 activists starting their work not for their self but for the wellbeing of society,” Dr Prasad added.
On August 7, which will mark the thousandth day of the campaign, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will reportedly honour the village for it’s exemplary initiative towards making their hometown a cleaner and better place to live.
You can reach out to the Manakosam Manam Trust here.