Creating a sort of record, over two lakh people in Nadia district of West Bengal have taken an oath not to defecate in the open.
Forming a 122-km-long human chain along NH-34 yesterday, the villagers including women, young boys and girls took the pledge to always use toilets themselves and not allow anyone in their neighbourhood to attend nature's call in open fields.
"Our estimates say that over 2.17 lakh people were part of this campaign. It is the biggest shame in our country that people still do not use toilets. We have constructed more than 90 per cent toilets required in the district and the remaining ones will be ready in the next month," Nadia District Magistrate P B Salim told PTI.
He said that constructing toilets was not enough as people who had been going out in the open since generations could not be expected to use toilets suddenly.
The oath taking was organised as part of a series of campaigns for constant and extensive behaviour change communication against open defecation under the 'Sobar Souchagar' (Toilets for all) scheme by the district authorities.
Nadia district is eyeing an open defecation free status by the end of April this year.
Asadur Rahman, state head of the UNICEF, said, "We want to give it the shape of a movement. Nadia has been a success and we plan to share the story with other states also as an example of how to do it".