Open Defecation in India: Rural Jharkhand declared ODF

The rural Jharkhand was declared Open Defecation Free on November 15 during a regional review meeting of the eastern states held in Kolkata, West Bengal. The West Bengal Government, on the occasion, shared the state’s commitment towards achieving open defecation free status by December 2018.

Created On: Nov 19, 2018 12:02 ISTModified On: Nov 19, 2018 12:08 IST
Open Defecation in India: Rural Jharkhand declared ODF

The rural Jharkhand was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) on November 15, 2018 during a regional review meeting of the eastern states held in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The workshop comprised discussions on sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), and rural water supply. It saw participation from teams belonging to West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha.

Key Highlights

The key aspects of sustainability such as geo-tagging, verification of ODF villages, conversion of dysfunctional toilets, IEC expenditure, Swachhagrahi engagement were reviewed during the workshop.

The West Bengal Government, on the occasion, shared the state’s commitment towards achieving open defecation free status by December 2018.

West Bengal currently has a rural sanitation coverage of 97per cent and is on track to becoming ODF much before the national target of October 2019.

The review meeting was preceded by an early morning village visit during which the Ministry officers and State Mission team visited villages in the outskirts of Kolkata and interacted with villagers regarding their access to and usage of household toilets.

All North East States to become ODF by December 2018

All the north-eastern states on November 14, 2018 committed to declaring themselves as Open Defecation Free (ODF) by December 2018. The decision was taken during the regional review meeting of the north-eastern states held in Guwahati, Assam.

The review meeting saw participation from teams belonging to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. While the teams from the ODF States of the region spoke about efforts to sustain their ODF status, the non-ODF states committed to declaring themselves as ODF by December 2018.

  All North East States commit to become ODF by December 2018

Sikkim highlighted the solid and liquid waste management initiatives being undertaken in the first ODF state of the country. The state of Assam also shared highlights of “Mission Sambhav”, under which more than one lakh pit digging activities were initiated on a single day during the Swachhata Hi Seva fortnight.

ODF states in North East

Sikkim: The state became India’s first Open Defecation Free State in 2008, long before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched, after the state government and the local population collaborated to construct toilets using local materials and together maintained a strict resilience against open defecation.

Arunachal Pradesh: The state became the second state in the Northeast to be declared Open Defecation Free on December 31, 2017.

Meghalaya: The state achieved its ODF status in January 2018. The state now aims to make all the 2,347 villages in 11 districts free from solid and liquid waste in a year’s time.

Mizoram: The state declared itself as an open defecation-free state in July 2018, after all eight of its districts were reported to have 100 per cent sanitation coverage.

Nagaland: The state declared as the 22nd Open Defecation Free state (Rural) in the country in October 2018, on the occasion of the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Manipur: The state’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh declared it as the 23rd state to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) in India on October 2, 2018.

ODF States/ UTs in India


Month/ Year





Himachal Pradesh

October 2016



November 2016



June 2017



June 2017



October 2017



October 2017


Madhya Pradesh

October 2017


Arunachal Pradesh

December 2017



January 2018



February 2018



March 2018


Andhra Pradesh

June 2018



July 2018


Jammu and Kashmir

September 2018


Tamil Nadu

October 2018



October 2018



October 2018



October 2018



September 2017


Daman and Diu

December 2017


Dadra & Nagar Haveli



Andaman& Nicobar Islands

May 2018






October 2018

Following are the states, which will soon be declared as ODF:

1. West Bengal

2. Uttar Pradesh

3. Assam

4. Tripura

5. Karnataka

Open Defecation in India: Q & A

What is Open Defecation?

Open defecation relates to the human practice of defecating outside in the open environment and not in a designated toilet. People in this case may choose fields, bushes, forests, ditches, streets, canals or other open space for defecation.

  Open Defecation in India: In Detail

What is the main cause of Open Defecation?

The practice was widely prevalent across various regions in India due to the shortage or inaccessibility of proper toilets and public utilities.

The practice was common where sanitation infrastructure and services are not available.

Further, even if toilets were available, behaviour change efforts were required to promote the use of toilets.

Impact of Open Defecation

Open defecation causes public health problems in areas where people defecate in fields, urban parks, rivers, and open trenches in close proximity to the living space of others. The practice also pollutes the environment.

High levels of open defecation in a country are usually linked with high child mortality, as well as high levels of undernutrition, high levels of poverty and large disparities between rich and poor.

About one billion people around the globe practice open defecation. India has the highest number of people practicing open defecation (around 190 million people).

The other countries with the highest number of people openly defecating are Indonesia (54 million), followed by Pakistan (41 million), Nigeria (39 million), Ethiopia (34 million), and Sudan (17 million).

What does ODF mean?

The term 'open defecation free' is used to describe communities that have shifted to using toilets instead of open defecation.

The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation defined ODF as "the termination of fecal-oral transmission with no visible faeces found in the environment or village and every household as well as public/community institutions using safe technology option for disposal of feces."

  Open Defecation in India: In Detail

How to achieve ODF status?

The ODF status can be achieved through proper implementation of sanitation programmes with deep involvement from the community.

Impact of ODF status

The process of ending open defecation is an indicator being used to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6, as extreme poverty and lack of sanitation are statistically linked.

Therefore, eliminating open defecation is thought to be an important part of the effort to eliminate poverty.


The Union Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the target of making India an open defecation-free (ODF) country by October 2, 2019, when Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary will be celebrated.

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