Bhuteda village of Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh has come up with a one-of-a-kind example of an effective way to fight open defecation in the village – that of refusing basic services to those who don’t have a toilet.
After attending a training session of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, resident Lokesh Shrama came up with this idea so the village could attain an open-defecation free status.
Picture for representation only. Source: Allan Hopkins/Flickr
Under the initiative, Dhuribai, a vegetable seller has decided that he will not deliver vegetables to residents who have not constructed toilets back home. Not just that, Amaru Lal Sen, the only barber in the village is refusing haircuts for those who defecate in the open.
“I discussed with the villagers that open defecation is not only a bad habit but can also have a negative impact on health. After this, the villagers decided to take several initiatives,” Lokesh told Hindustan Times.
So Amaru Lal politely tells any person who doesn’t have a toilet at his place that he won’t give him a haircut or a shave. “But I also tell him that if he constructs a toilet in his house and starts using it, I will give free service on the first visit to my saloon,” he said.
Lokesh, Dhuribai, Amaru, and others associated with the project also go around the village discouraging people from defecating in the open. According to the village sarpanch Bharat Malviya, they are also planning to completely boycott those who are still not paying heed to the cause.