Open defecation (also used in the opposite meaning as open defecation free (ODF)) is the human practice of defecating outside (in the open environment) rather than into a toilet. People may choose fields, bushes, forests, ditches, streets, canals or other open space for defecation. They do so because either they do not have a toilet readily accessible or due to traditional cultural practices. The practice is common where sanitation infrastructure and services are not available. Even if toilets are available, behavior change efforts may still be needed to promote the use of toilets. The term “open defecation free” (ODF) is used to describe communities that have shifted to using a toilet instead of open defecation. This can happen for example, after community-led total sanitation programs have been implemented.
The government of India with help of partners like UNICEF is looking at the challenge of Open Defecation Free India. The government has a target to make India “Open Defecation Free” by 2019 and UNICEF India is a key partner in its flagship programme to achieve this target through Swatchh Bharat Mission. Under the SBM, throughout the country large number of villages is declared as ODF villages.
In this particular project Center for Rural Development (CRD) organize various field level meetings, creating awareness on Cleanliness & Hygiene, CRD is engaging more into this survey and in many districts of Assam. ODF survey is an ongoing project of Centre for Rural Development,
CRD team in listed districts visited 45000 households & 1500 villages within the span of 6 months time, and so far we have covered Goalpara, Barpeta, Dhubri & Nagaon districts. In next phase of survey we will be covering 50,000 households in 6 districts of Assam. CRD is playing its role to support sustainable livelihood of poor people by using local resources and skills through community participation.