UDAYAPUR, June 20: It has been four years since Udayapur was declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Zone but the locals of Musahar community living in various parts of the district have just started making and using toilets.
Musahars living in Triyuga Municipality-1 and 2, Jogidaha and Chaudandigadhi Municipality-5, 9 and 10 have recently completed the construction of toilets and have also started using them.
Locals of these communities had long been refusing to use toilets due to lack of awareness and the traditional mindset of the people that all members of a family should not defecate in the same place. However, these people have started constructing toilets of late due to the influence of neighboring settlements and continuous pressure from the responsible authorities, according to Ghaman Singh Khatri, ward chief of Triyuga-2, Jogidaha.
Despite being assured of financial assistance from the government, Musahars had long been refusing to participate in ODF campaign due to their traditional mindset. With changing time, Musahars have become more aware of the importance of using toilet. Udayapur attained ODF status four years ago despite the fact that Musahars living in Sundarpur, Handiya, Jogidaha among others were not using toilets.
Prakash Raut, ward chief of Chaudandigadhi Municipalihty-10, Handiya informed that the municipality was continuously pressurizing these communities to make toilets and also providing then the required money. As all the locals have started using toilets, post ODF programs including sanitation and cleanliness have been going on full swing all over the district. During this post ODF campaign, those who had not constructed toilet earlier have been pressurized to build toilets.
District Sanitation and Hygiene Coordination Committee (DSHCC) has been inspecting the residents of all eight locals units of the district to build pressure to compulsorily construct toilets with the coordination of various local authorities.
Ram Kumar Shrestha, member secretary of DSHCC as well as chief engineer of the Drinking Water Office, informed that they were able to convince the Musahars for building toilets during the post ODF campaign. According to Kaushal Chemjong, coordinator of the Sanitation Association of Journalists, Musahars were made aware that it's okay for all members of the same family to use toilet.
Caption: A toilet constructed in the home of one of the Musahars of Jogidaha.