In a bizarre scenario, the worst Maoist-affected areas of Chhattisgarh that have large swaths of land out of government reach, have been declared open. According to The Indian Express, in December 2017, Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur, Kondagaon, and Dantewada got the open defecation free (ODF) tag. What adds to this is the fact that Param Iyer, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, congratulated the Bijapur and Sukma districts for the achievement on Twitter. He had congratulated Dantewada and Kondagaon on December 22.
However, the reality is completely opposite from the truth, or what it seems on the paper. As per an IE report, Swachh Bharat Mission data for January 2018 for Bijapur declares 84 of the 169 gram panchayats in the district as “inaccessible”, while the rest have been declared ODF. In Sukma, 49 of 146 gram panchayats are registered as “inaccessible”. In Dantewada and Kondagaon districts, 30 of 83 and 15 of 99 districts are inaccessible according to data collected by the government in October 2017.
Residents of these districts say that a toilet is a rare thing, they haven’t even seen an official around. Villagers claim they have no official has visited them. However, there is another side to the story as well. “Humne sabko kaha ki sarkaar keh rahi hai ki toilet banvaana hai. Lekin gaonvalon ne mana kar diya (We told everyone that the government is saying build toilets. But the villagers refused),” said Somali, sarpanch Manoj Arki’s wife from Jaigur village.
Source: Financial Express