The Haryana government has taken the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign to a new height by deciding to recruit only those people in select jobs who don’t defecate in the open.
Advertisements issued by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Kurukshetra, in prominent dailies on Tuesday said that while recruiting block coordinators, preference will be given to those candidates “not defecating in the open”. The candidates are also expected to have completed graduation. Similar conditions have also been prescribed for cluster motivators in the same advertisement.
According to jobs advertised by District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Kurukshetra, preference will be given to those who have a toilet at their home.
The candidates will also need to give an undertaking that they don’t defecate in the open, the notification said.
Advertisements were issued by the DRDA, Kurukshetra, in leading dailies yesterday, which said that while recruiting ‘block coordinators’ and ‘cluster motivators’, preference will be given to those candidates who have a toilet in their house and don’t “defecate in the open”.
These conditions are in addition to some other conditions like educational qualifications for the jobs advertised.
Selected candidates will work under the Centre’s flagship scheme ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.
Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), block coordinators and cluster motivators are being hired on contract for limited period for the public campaign. They will be required to motivate people and raise their awareness level with regards to the campaign.
Since this criteria is for 18 vacancies, once the shortlisting is done, just before finalising, we will get them to sign on a declaration that says: ‘I have a toilet in my home and I do not practice open defecation’. Once these candidates are finally selected we will send our subordinates to their homes to verify if they really have toilets.
Now how will we verify if the people who have toilets don’t practice open defecation? Well we can only hope that with the mandatory minimum qualifications of high school for cluster motivators and graduate pass for block development officers, the individuals have learnt to not indulge in such practices, especially when they have a toilet in their homes. There isn’t any way to verify.
According to the 2011 census, Haryana has 47.18 lakh households of which 69% have toilets inside the homes while nearly 30% people defecate in the open. Just about 1% households depend on public toilets.
Prabhjot Singh, additional deputy commissioner-cum-chief executive officer of Kurukshetra DRDA said that they put in the toilet condition after guidelines were received from the central government. “Conditions in the advertisement are just reproduction of the Centre’s guidelines,” he said.
Although this is for the first time that the Haryana government has included the loo condition in government jobs, it isn’t a completely new idea. The state had made it mandatory for those contesting panchayat polls to have a toilet at home. The condition was stayed by the Supreme Court after three women challenged the amendments to the Panchayati Raj Act. The other conditions included minimum educational qualification of Class X for those wanting to contest the sarpanch’s post.