Farmers in Sheopur district will not be able to sell their produce to the government if they do not build or promise to build a toilet. The move comes as part of the district administration’s ongoing drive to persuade people to build toilets at home.
Before they sell wheat to the government at procurement centres, farmers have to register themselves by providing basic information. They will then get SMS alerts, asking them to turn up at a particular procurement centre in their vicinity.
Farmers will not be able to register themselves now without providing proof of a toilet at home or an affidavit that they will soon build one. “Nearly 1,000 out of 1,600 homes in Soikala village populated by well-off farmers don’t have toilets. Mere persuasion won’t work in such places,” District Collector Abhijit Agrawal, who visited the village under Sheopur Janpad Panchayat and held a night camp there on Monday, told The Indian Express.
The district is notorious for people’s lack of will to have toilets at home even when they can afford it. The government gives an incentive of Rs 12,000 to build toilets to beneficiaries like BPL, SC/ST, and families headed by widows. They get half the amount when the construction is half complete and the rest upon its completion.
When cash incentives and arguments highlighting the significance of toilets for the safety of women cut no ice, the district administration used banners carrying messages with negative connotations to force the villagers to commit to building toilets.