With an aim to make all districts of Assam ODF (Open Defecation Free) Swach Bharat Mission Gramin today organized a One Day State Level Convention on Tea Garden Sanitation at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati. Bringing all the stake holders together the aim was to clearly define the role of each and urge to take up responsibility to make ODF tea gardens a reality.
Out of 33 districts in Assam 26 districts are covered with tea gardens having 800 total tea gardens which implies to 50 lakh people concentrated in the tea gardens of Assam. Out of these 800 tea gardens only 56 gardens have been declared as ODF according to government data. Hence, construction of household toilets is primary according to Indian Tea Association.
Efforts on health, water and sanitation and honest implementation of PLA 1951 will solve most issues of the sanitation in tea gardens. Also behavioral changes in tea tribes are necessary for proper usability in these places said Pallab Lochan Das, Minister of Power who was present at the event.
Representative from UNICEF, Tushar Rane pointed that there is shortage of 30 thousand household toilets in the tea gardens of Assam. He urged for proper co-ordination between the government agencies and the management of tea gardens.
Tea Associations of Assam, UNICEF, management of tea gardens, water resources department and other stake holders were present in the meeting to work towards the goal of ODF tea gardens in Assam.