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Maharashtra's Osmanabad district has achieved a milestone with over 10,000 pits being dug on a single day as part of the campaign against open defecation.
"Villagers in the district dug 10,776 mark out pits for toilets in a span of 18 hours yesterday, braving rains," Osmanabad Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Anand Rayate told PTI.
The earlier record for the maximum number of such pits dug in a district in a day was held by Telangana, the senior IAS officer said.
"We have planned to make Osmanabad district open defecation free by October 2," Rayate said.
To popularise the concept, the district administration in March undertook a "Build a toilet, win a trip to Singapore" scheme, he said.
The Osmanabad Zilla Parishad hit upon a novel idea to achieve its target of making all 621 villages in the district open defecation free by October 2.
"We selected tehsil-level winners from the villagers who took early initiative in building toilet at home and sent them on an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore," Rayate said.
Winners were chosen through a lottery.
The scheme is part of the 'Marathwada Hagandari Mukt Sangram' (Marathwada campaign for eradication of open defecation) launched on the occasion of Gudi Padwa, the Marathi new year, Rayate said.