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Uttarakhand: Towards an 'open defecation free' district

Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) [India],   May 13 : Teachers of a government school in Uttarakhand's Udham Singh Nagar district helped the parents of their students to build toilets in their houses.

This comes three years after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and a few months after Udham Singh Nagar was declared open defecation free (ODF).

The teachers said that the idea of helping parents in making toilets at their houses came after they found out that the children don't have toilets at their houses and they used to defecate in the open.
One of the teachers said, "Idea of helping parents in making toilets in their houses came after we found out that the children don't have toilets at their houses and they are not aware of cleanliness."
"We used to see Kathua like incidents in the newspapers every day. We felt very bad when we went and saw that the children are defecating in the open," the teacher added.

The teachers have also laid a condition before parents during admission that it is necessary to have a toilet in their homes and if it is not there, the toilet will be made in the houses after the admission of their son or daughter.

"We started making efforts by asking the parents during admission that if there is a toilet at their house and mostly the answer was no. When we asked the parents if they want a toilet in their homes? They said yes. So we started to help them," said another teachers.

"We told them we will take an initiative and help them in whatever way we can, some money we will contribute and some money they will have to contribute. We have made toilets at 5-6 houses till now. Daily 2-3 parents are coming to us to get toilet made in their houses," the teacher added.

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