WIth the help of the central government's flagship rural jobs scheme MGNREGS, the Tripura government has embarked upon fully abolishing open defecation in the state within two years, a minister said here Tuesday.
"Under the MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), the state government has given top priority to building individual household latrines (IHL) on order to eliminate open defecation in Tripura in two years," Rural Development Minister Jitendra Chaudhury told reporters.
He said: "So far, around 80 percent households have IHL. We would make it 100 percent in two years."
Tripura has kept its top position for the fifth consecutive year in executing the MGNREGS flagship rural jobs scheme offering 66 man-days so far in the current fiscal (2013-14) against the national average of 39 man-days.
Under MGNREGS, besides providing rural jobs, rural assets created include individual household latrines, drinking water sources, rural road connectivity, promotion of livestock, pisciculture, watershed management, afforestation and securing livelihood activities.
The World Health Organisation and United Nations Children's Fund estimated that there were more than 620 million people -- over 50 percent of the Indian population -- defecating in open.
People defecating in the open due to absence of toilet or latrine is one of the important contributors to malnutrition and various diseases.