There is no ration for 20 Odisha families for defecating outdoors: Sarpanch

BERHAMPUR: A sarpanch in the Ganjam district reportedly halted the rice quota under the National Food Security Law (NFSA) and the State Food Safety Law (SFSA) for beneficiaries defecating outdoors. Around 20 families did not receive their this month.

While the sarpanch Sushant Swain of Goutami panchayat, in the Sanakhemundi block of the district, said the decision was made to motivate people to develop good habits, the district administration described the movement as illegal even as a quota of rice from 20 families For the current month, distributed to others during Sunday and Monday, it stopped after it was discovered that they were outdoors. Goutami panchayat has about 2,000 households with a population of 4563. Of these, 180 families do not have bathrooms in their homes.

To justify his action, Swain said the decision to punish those who defecate outdoors was taken at the last panchayat meeting on October 20. Around 300 members of the women's self-help group patrol the open spaces in the panchayat twice a day (3-5am and 5-7pm) in an attempt to stop defecation outdoors. If they find someone defecating outdoors, they inform the panchayat, ”said Swain, adding that women do so voluntarily.

The sarpanch further defended the decision in the name of raising awareness. “It is for the benefit of the people. Initially, several villagers had opposed the decision of the panchayat. But it has worked, ”said Swain, who said that many are queuing and building bathrooms at home. However, Ganjam's collector, Vijay Amruta Kulange, did not seem funny with the action taken by sarpanch Goutami. Kulange made it clear that the benefits of NFSA and SFSA cannot be reduced.