Odisha: Change makers in BTCD slum turn reel-life script to real life success story

Bhubaneswar: In reel-life you might have seen noted actress Vidya Balan fighting for pride of the newly-wed brides. However, within the smart district of the Temple City, a newly-wed bride has practically proved her social and motivational skills in constructing a toilet for her family and more interestingly, decorating the toilet wall on her own depicting a name to it “Ama Swabhimana’’ (Our Pride) at Kathagola Basti in Bapuji Nagar.
Yes! If you want to see the reel-life messages of Swachha Bharat being translated in true spirit by ordinary change makers in an extra ordinary way, then come to the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) area and realise the transformation taking shape by motivated slum residents.
The list of those change makers include newly-wed Lilly Behera and many others, who have become real heroes in order to make the Smart City Dream of a clean, green and liveable city, just a step closer. In this slum the women folks took the lead and ensured completion of toilets in time, bringing an end to open defecation. They also gave a new look to the toilets by adding traditional paintings on the wall, giving the series of toilets a look of a wall art.
Today while celebrating the ODF feat the residents organised a “Gaurav Yatra’’ (Walk of Pride) in which, BMC Deputy Mayor K. Shanti and senior officials of city administration participated to encourage the noble efforts.
Additional Commissioner-cum-Member Enforcement of Bhubaneswar Development Authority Bhabani Shankar Chayani, GM (Operations) Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) Binaya Kumar Dash and BSCL OSD Santosh Kumar Mishra were present.
As a mark of victory over open defecation, the slum residents organised a symbolic burial of the utensils used by the people for open defecation practice. They collected the items in a cement bin and later buried them as mark of an end to the evil practice.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Mayor encouraged the slum residents by thanking them to adopt a noble cause and wished all other slums within the BTCD area and outside would also follow suit. Local corporator Mahamaya Swain, who actively campaigned for ODF, was also present.
After Kalinga Basti (Bapuji Nagar), Birsa Munda-1 Basti in Sahid Nagar and Timber Colony Basti in Satya Nagar, today Kathagola Basti in Bapuji Nagar became the fourth slum in the BTCD area within a month to become open defecation free (ODF).
It will be certainly a unique achievement by the people themselves through their active participation through the “Nigrani Committees’’ or surveillance squads, through which the residents, especially women, are monitoring activities of the people defecating in the open and motivating them not to continue the act further.
It may be noted here that BSCL has engaged Feedback Foundation for carrying out the ODF initiative within the BTCD area in coordination with Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

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