A village in Telangana's Mahbubnagar is taking a major step towards becoming free from open defecation after the state government and villagers joined hands to build toilets.
The residents of Salonipally village in Hanwada Mandal are busy at work as they have put other activities on hold for the next 48 hours.
Speaking to TNM, Gowtham, an IAS officer at the spot said, "There are 384 houses totally in the village, out of which 48 houses have toilets. Each household gets a toilet, so we are presently building 336 toilets. We are providing the raw material and labourers, and the villagers are helping us dig the pits required for the toilet."
Officials are also educating the locals about the importance of sanitation and how to prevent the spread of diseases that arise from unhygienic conditions.
According to reports, district collector Ronald Rose has formed 21 teams with each team comprising of a special officer, MPDO and tehsildar, with each team supervising 16 households.
"We are following the two-pit method, and the villagers are helping us with the digging work and also part of the construction process," Gowtham adds.
The two-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 before the sludge is removed, and it is slightly less infested with pathogens. This makes it more hygienic than a one-pit system.
According to officials, there is an overwhelmingly positive response to the plan.
"The villagers are very enthusiastic about it. Coincidentally, a lot of the villagers are masons themselves, and they are stepping up and building the toilets for their respective houses," Gowtham says.