While Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with traditional fervor across the country on Monday, there was a special touch in Amethi town of Uttar Pradesh where 159 brothers gifted their sisters toilets as a gift.
The move was initiated by Amethi's Chief Development Officer (CDO) Apoorva Dubey, who, to fast track the Swacch Bharat Mission came up with the 'Anokhi Amethi ka Anokha Bhai' (Different brother of different Amethi) drive.
Of the 834 registrations received for constructing toilets, only 159 were completed in time, However, the number could be higher, the official said as the total is being tabulated from across various villages.
The CDO said it started as a campaign to educate and involve more and more people in the Swacch Bharat Mission initiative, adding that after physical verification of the toilets on August 11, three prizes -- Rs 50,000, Rs 15,000 and a mobile and Rs 12,000 would be given through a lucky draw.
The idea is to not only involve more and more people into the mission but also sustain their connect with cleanliness and hygiene, Dubey told IANS.
The toilets have 'Rakhi Toilets' inscribed on them along with the name of the brother and sister. The remaining toilets are under construction and would be completed soon.
Uttar Pradesh is reaching against time to make the state open defecation free (ODF), with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath setting a punishing pace for district officials, who are now tasked with making almost 44,000 toilets every day if they were to meet the deadline of making the most populous state of India ODF by October 2, 2018. Yogi has already announced that 30 districts in the state will be open defecation free by December 31, 2017.