RAUTAHAT, June 3: It has been found that many villages in Rautahat were declared open defecation free areas by the government without confirming whether they meet the requirement. However, the declaration has posed a serious problem for the locals. So they have decided to make 'toilet' as their agenda to vote in the upcoming local election.
Locals have accused the government and various NGOs of forcefully declaring their villages as open defecation free areas even when most of the houses still lack toilets. This has become a real trouble for the locals. Therefore, they have decided to vote for the candidates who will help them to build toilets.
According to Kishori Yadav of Mahadevtika of district headquarters Gaur, the government is planning to declare many villages as open defecation free areas without inspecting the houses of the villagers. She further said that even the police have started punishing those who are found defecating in the open. “Locals have no other option as they don't have toilets at home,” he said. There are many people who are not capable of making toilets due to their poor financial condition, he added.
Even though they live in a municipality, many locals are obliged to practice open defecation due to the lack of toilets. As informed by the locals, the police have been regularly visiting the fields, roads and streets and are even arresting those who are found defecating in the open. So, locals have decided not to vote for candidates who are not willing to help them build toilets. They have even planned not to support candidates or political parties who are encouraging the police to take action against them.
With the local elections approaching nearer, candidates of various political parties have intensified their visits to the locals. With the objective of wooing voters, the candidates have been requesting the locals to make demands. So, the locals are making the same demands with almost all of them and that is to build their toilets.
“It is wrong to declare a village 'an open defecation free area' when that is not the ccase. It brings more troubles to the already miserable lives of the poor,” said Nishant Singh, a local. Locals have accused the government of negligence. “The fear of police has made every morning troublesome for the locals,” he added.
As many as 33 villages of Rautahat have been declared open defecation free areas by the government. It is planning to announce four more villages of the municipality as free from open defecation.