It was the Total Sanitation Campaign in 2002-03 followed by Nirmal Bharat and now Swacha Bharat Abhiyan since 2 October 2014. The nomenclature has changed. But nothing has changed at the ground level in Kalahandi district. The objectives of sanitation, cleanliness etc continue to remain a distant dream as poor sanitation in rural and urban areas of the district stare at the face of the population.
The district human development report of Kalahandi prepared by Planning and Coordination department,government of Odisha in collaboration with the planning commission and the UNDP in the year 2012, stated that that around 95.24 per cent of people in rural Kalahandi were resorting to open defecation due to various factors including lack of house hold or community toilet facilities and low priority accorded by house hold to hygiene and sanitation. The situation has not improved ever since.
According to base line survey conducted by rural water supply and sanitation department in the year 2013-14 out of the 377456 households of the district (as per census report of 2011) 355202 households do not have a toilet.
As per the official data of the district water and sanitation mission during 2014- 15 under Swachha Bharat Mission only 2072 households were covered with toilet facilities and payment made to the households.
Similarly till mid week of May 2015 in the financial year of 2015-16 only 1776 households were covered. This is against a target given to each of the 13 blocks to build at least 1200 toilets. Under the Swachha Bharat scheme, NGOs are supposed to play major role as partner in motivating the villagers and to construct the toilets as per norm on behalf of the villagers.They are to act as contractual agency of the project. To take up the work 34 NGOs of the district have been enlished by district administration.
However the District Water and Sanitation Mission seems to be hesitant to release advance to the NGOs or the individual households to construct the toilets despite provision for the purpose.
Moreover due to delay on the part of the Mission to verify and to make payments, the NGOs are in fix. In this scenario they are forced to invest from their own sources and wait for months to get payment. Thus most of the NGO partners are backing out.
Apart from this there are many blocks like Koksara, Kalampur, Golamunda, Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and M.Rampur which are slow in responding where as blocks like Karlamunda, Bhawanipatna, Narla, Kesinga , Jaipatana blocks are responding to the scheme.
NGO representatives expressing concern opine that unless there will be awareness movement in campaign mode, NGOs paid in advance to construct the toilets as per need of the hour and target and timely supervision and payment to the beneficiaries and NGO partners, there will not be tangible result.