Leading by example, Swachh Bharat Mission secretary Parameswaran Iyer lowered himself into a toilet pit in a Telangana village, to clean it.
Iyer was part of a delegation consisting of over a dozen top bureaucrats, who travelled by bus from Hyderabad to a village in Warangal district.
The officials were visiting Gangadevipally, a model village in the country, to witness the "twinpit technology" that converts human waste into useful manure within a short period of time, helping to eliminate open defecation, the Times of India reported.
The report also added that a Unicef team accompanied the bureaucrats.
"It's perfectly safe and clean to empty a twin pit toilet," Iyer said.
The twin-pit system, like the name suggests, consists of two holes that are dug up and cemented, and are gradually filled with faecal matter as time passes.
Once the first pit is full, the villagers will began using the second pit, while the first pit rests. The advantage of two pits, is that the first pit is emptied only when the second pit is full.
This gives the faecal matter in the first pit time to decompose and turn into manure. This makes it more hygienic than a one-pit system.
“These toilets are not only cost effective and safe, but the waste could be used as manure. It is the best manure. Farmers could use it in their fields. We would recommend to the government to promote this system on a larger scale in the country. Septic tanks are not only expensive but also unsafe as the tanks overflow and contaminate the drinking and sewerage water. As far as rural areas are considered, only twin pit composting toilets are the right choice,” Iyer was quoted as saying.
Gangadevipally is a model village, which boasts of many achievements.
Besides implementing 100% prohibition, Gangadevipally has 100% literacy between the age group of 15 to 50 and is also open defecation free with a toilet in every house.
The whole village follows family planning with each family having a maximum of two children. Each child is also educated, completing at least high school.
Besides providing purified drinking water and a personal tap connection to every household, the village has a large green cover.
You can read about the village's journey to becoming a model village below.
Read: From CCTV cameras to Any Time Water, how this Telangana village became a model for the rest