Lanjigarh: Under Vedanta Lanjigarh’s Swachhta Project, nine villages under Baterlima Panchayat and six villages under Jagannathpur Panchayat have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
The nine villages under Baterlima Gram Panchayat include Baterlima, Belamba, Boringpadar, Parbatipur, Banipanga, Kapaguda, Kutendali, Rasbundel, and Turiguda wherein a total of 453 households have become ODF while Jagannathpur Gram Panchayat includes a total of 542 households.
To commemorate this achievement, an ODF ‘Walk of Pride’ celebration was held yesterday in Baterlima village by the local residents led by the village Nigrani Committee who proudly exhibited their clean and feces-free village. Nigrani committee has been established by the resident villagers and consists of village opinion makers and influencers who support in bringing a behavioural change towards sanitation practices within the community.
Speaking for the celebrations, Rakesh Mohan, COO – Vedanta Lanjigarh, said: “We are committed to develop and coordinate with the community towards building sustainable sanitation practices. Making Kalahandi Open Defecation Free is an initiative heartily embraced by the community, and to see them actively engage in reaching this goal shows determination. Vedanta Lanjigarh supports the community in following the best of health and sanitation practices for their development.”
The villagers actively narrated their journey of transformation on the importance of health and sanitation. Basanti Samal, Baterlima village Samiti Sabhya, appreciated on Vedanta’s support towards the sanitation initiative in bringing change within the village. “Previously, women faced a lot of health issues due to defecating out in the open. We now understand the importance of sanitation and benefits of leading a healthy life,” Samal added.
Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Swachhta Project is a CSR initiative wherein Vedanta Lanjigarh has been providing technical support through its partnering NGO, Feedback Foundation in collaboration with the District Administration to bring desired behavioral changes among the residents for improving village sanitation conditions. This convergence functions in a Community Led Total Sanitation Approach through an integrated development program for the community’s well-being and development.
Present during the celebrations were district officials and government personnel, villagers from Baterlima Panchayat and Vedanta officials. The members of the Nigrani Committee were felicitated and awarded a certificate of appreciation for their hard work and support in achieving the status of ODF in Baterlima Gram Panchayat.