Nadia district in West Bengal has won the United Nations Public Service Award 2015 in the category of improving delivery of public services for or eliminating open defecation in the district.
The award was presented by the acting Secretary General of the UN Lenni Montiel to District Magistrate of Nadia and Sabhapati of Nadia Zilla Parishad in Medellin, Colombia.
It should be noted that Nadia district is the first open defecation free district in India. The district had achieved this feat by making toilets available for all under state governments flagship programme Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All).
It was a collaborative effort with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank along with state government and local governments.
The programme was initiated in 2013. In one-and-half-years, toilets were built in 5 lakh households and over 200 cluster toilets in public places.
After completion of the building toilets under this programme, the percentage of people defecating in open has gone down to 0.02 per cent compared to 33.8 per cent when the project was started.