Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 2 November 2016 declared Kerala as Open Defecation Free” (ODF) state. With this, Kerala became third state to achieve this status.
Over 1 lakh villages across the country have become ODF. The Kerala government had constructed about 175000 toilets in the last four months to make Kerala the first among the big states to claim ODF status.
About 800000 people benefitted from the Edamalakkudy initiative to free Kerala of open defecation, including those in tribal hamlets in inaccessible hilly areas like Edamalakkudy in Idukki district. Everyone from local politicians to college students pitched in their support to construct toilets.
So far, two other states Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh were officially declared as free from open defecation.
On the occasion, the state also launched four major programmes- Parippida Mission, Haritha Keralam, Ardram and Life in the education, health, housing and sanitation sectors.