The district administration of Harda has introduced a novel method to stop people from defecating in the open -- comparing those who do it to dogs.
The administration has erected a hoarding at the district panchayat office in Harda, 200 km from here, in which a man and a dog are seen defecating in the open. And the caption reads: “Animals can’t use toilets but you can. Have you built your toilet?”
According to Ganesh Shankar Mishra, chief executive officer of the panchayat,the hoarding is a part of “Operation Mal Yudh” that has been launched by the district administration to spread awareness on hygiene.
“The idea was to attract the attention of people who defecate in the open and tell them that what they are doing is not right. If it was just a plain message no one would notice it,” Mishra told Express.
However, this hoarding was stoned and damaged by vandals within 24 hours of being erected.
Yet this act of vandalism has not discouraged Mishra.
“Some people though took the message in an entirely different way and damaged the part which had the picture of the dog. This shows that people noticed it and realised that they were doing something wrong. Now we have put another hoarding adjacent to the old one in which we have thanked them for noticing and getting angry. People of Harda are awakening to this unhygienic habit,” he said.
The hoarding is part of a sanitation programme supported by the World Bank. Mishra said the hoarding had got a good response from the majority of the people and demands for more such hoarding had been received from different villages of Harda.