Centre launches national campaign 'Darwaza-Band' against open defection

| Updated: May 31, 2017 02:30 IST

New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): The Centre today launched an aggressive new campaign titled 'Darwaza Band' to promote toilet use and freedom from open defecation across the country's villages. The campaign produced by the MDWS under Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in the presence of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar, Maharashtra Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, Secretary Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer, and other Centre and state dignitaries in Mumbai. The Union Minister and the state Chief Minister also reviewed the working of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) programme in Maharashtra ahead of the event. Champion functionaries from the state of Maharashtra were awarded during the event. An exhibition displaying various toilet technologies was also put up. The 'Darwaza Band' campaign has been supported by the World Bank and is being rolled out countrywide immediately after the launch. The campaign has been designed to encourage behavioural change in men who have toilets but are not using them. A part of the campaign also features actor Anushka Sharma, who will be seen encouraging women to stand up for this issue in their villages and assume a leadership role. Narendra Tomar said that achievement of 64 percent ODF status is a tribute to the Prime Minister's commitment. Tomar also congratulated Maharashtra on its significant achievement of 80 percent ODF. "All attempts are being made to make this into a true Jan Andolan. Goal for India should be to become a showcase country for cleanliness by 2019," Tomar said. Bachchan has been a major supporter and ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission and is already associated with its ongoing campaigns. Iyer showcased visual examples of some behaviour change communication being done at the grass root level. While introducing the campaign he said, "The campaign focuses on the need to shift people's paradigm from 'open' to 'closed' especially for men." (ANI)