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Bagish Jha| TNN | Jun 14, 2017

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

GURGAON: Sulabh International founder and chief Bindeshwar Pathakhas announced that an open defecation-free (ODF) village in Mewat will be named after the US President Donald Trump. Sulabh believes the move will help draw attention of the world towards India’s cleanliness campaign.

Sulabh International is currently working in some villages of Mewat to make them ODF, one of which will be named after Trump. “We have chosen the area (Mewat), but the village to be named after Trump will be decided in the next few days,” said Pathak over phone from the US, adding he will visit Mewat to interact with villagers after he returns to India in the next few days, during which, a village will be chosen for adoption.

Pathak made the announcement at a community event organised in the suburbs of Washington DC. “The Indian government is trying to rid the country of open defecation. Our organisation is also working in this direction. We urge the global community to help us realise the goal of sanitation and cleanliness in India,” he said, adding that big corporate houses can adopt a village, block or taluka as part of the campaign.

He said the idea behind naming a village after Trump is to highlight the issue of sanitation and cleanliness globally, and seek participation of large number of people in the campaign. “We expect many more people to come forward to join this initiative,” said Pathak. The Prime Minister has urged that we make the entire country clean by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, but for this, everyone will have to make an effort, he said.

Haryana government is aiming to make all its districts ODF by September 2017. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in Chandigarh on May 26 all the districts of state will be declared ODF by September, earlier than the previous deadline of December 2017. He claimed rural areas would be made ODF by end-June, while urban areas will be declared ODF by September. Till now, 6,132 gram panchayats have become ODF in the state, while the remaining 200-300 are likely to be made ODF by the next few months.

The state government has also tied up with World Bank to work towards making Haryana villages ODF Plus. Under the scheme, along with ODF, a village will also get a solid waste management facility, sewerage line, storm water drain and concrete roads. Initially, 44 villages, two in each district, will be included in the scheme as a pilot, to ensure complete cleanliness by November this year.

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