Berhampur, Nov 20 (LocalWire) In a bid to make Ganjam Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the end of November, the district administration has undertaken an innovative way to change the indifferent attitude of people- by planting trees like basil (tulsi) and aegle marmelos (bael), considered as holy by Hindus – in some of the identified vulnerable places,.
The block administration in the district are identifying open defecation spots and carrying out the plantation drive, said Ganjam collector Vijay Amrut Kulange.
In Hindusim, basil (tulsi) is considered as earthly manifestation of Goddess Brinda, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Almost every Hindu house has a tulsi plant in the courtyard which is worshipped everyday.
Similarly, bael tree is considered as a form of Lord Shiva and its leaves are an inevitable part of the God’s worship.
Earlier, the district administration had tried other ways to stop people to defecate in the open. They had offered roses to people who were found practicing the social evil. However, that yielded little result.
At least 85% houses in the district have toilets, while the district has declared six out of 22 blocks as ODF. .
Out of 6,23,264 households in the district, 5 29,215 households have constructed toilets so far.
Hinjili, Beguniapada, Bhanjanagara, Chhatrapur, Polasara and Rangeilunda blocks have been declared as ODF, said District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) project director Sidharth Shankar Swain.
As many as 96 out of 503 panchayats in the district have become ODF so far.