ODF cause through preaching and practice: Minority community leaders show the way


Bhubaneswar: Irshad Bhai is not alone, many in their individual capacities as community leaders, have taken up the cause of cleanliness through ensuring an open defecation free (ODF) Bhubaneswar, and are contributing to the nation-building activities through motivating others with scientific reasoning and social messaging to convince their counterparts.

He is neither a scientist nor a trained social worker to motivate common people, but with his seer interest for cleanliness and belief in a mission, Irshad Bhai, Quran-e-hafiz and teacher at the Urdu School Ibadat Gaha, in Shantipalli in Saheed Nagar, is all set to change the mindset of the slum dwellers through his preaching.

“Our religion tells us to remain clean, then how can we defecate in the open? Flies sit on the dirt and then fly to our places, sit on our food and even on our holy books. We should keep our surrounding clean by not defecating in the open. Many of us have toilets at home but go out to defecate. We should stop this as this is against our faith of remaining clean,’’declares Irshad Bhai.

The community members have decided to regularly monitor cleanliness near the Kabristan in Satyanagar to stop open defecation in that periphery. Kabristan is the community graveyard of Muslims in the city.It may be mentioned here that with the open defecation the sacred Kabristan is also feeling threatened and thus there is a need to have an eye over the area to ensure to make that nearby areas ODF.

It may be noted here that under the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) area of the Smart City Project, around 24 slums are targeted to be made open defecation free (ODF) as part of a major initiative by the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL).

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