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Build Toilet In Your Homes, Or Lose Electricity: Official Threatens Villagers In Rajasthan

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 1
1994
| August 20 , 2017 , 12:44 IST

Taking negative reinforcement a step too far in the quest to end open defecation in India, a sub-divisional magistrate Kartar Singh told villagers in Gangithala in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district that either they build toilets in their homes or they will have their electricity supply cut off.

Singh went a step further and instructed discom officials to disconnect electricity supply to the village after 15 days if the villagers do not construct toilets. His order was soon revoked by Bhilwara collector Muktanand Agarwal.

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Justifying his bizarre order Singh said that only 19 percent of the villagers have built toilets despite repeated attempts to persuade and educate them against open defecation.

"The gram panchayat did a survey and found that people have not built toilets in their homes, but they were fined and let off. Only 19% of village households have toilets, so I have given an order to the electricity department that if they don't start work soon on building toilets, their electricity should be disconnected and their rations should be stopped also," said Singh.

"We feel this order is too harsh," said Bhilwara collector Muktanand Agarwal.

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"There is no need to cut off electricity and take such harsh measures. In fact the people should be motivated instead to build toilets," he added.

On August 18, the SDM Kartar Singh was on an awareness mission to stop open defecation when he encountered villagers defecating in the open near Piplund village. Since the villagers reportedly refused to be persuaded into agreeing to not defecate in the open, the SDM had the police arrest the 6 men. The accused were released after signing a bail bond of Rs 10,000 each and agreeing to build toilets in their homes in 15 days.