6,000 students from 57 colleges under Gujarat Technological University (GTU) helped in the construction of 9,000 toilets in 107 villages across the state. The students belonging to the National Service Scheme (NSS) wing of Bachelor of Engineering (BE) courses voluntarily laboured for two days.
According to an Indian Express report, Commissioner of Technical Education Anis Mankad said, "We have decided to launch a similar exercise in this regard between September 25 and October 2."
C S Singhvi, professor at L D College of Engineering, who supervised the process said, "The students worked as labourers with the masons. They also dug out septic pits for the toilets.'' Rs 12,000 was spent by District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) on each toilet to provide materials and two masons to complete the task.
69 lakh more toilets to be built to make Gujarat open defecation free
According to state government sources, a total of 69 lakh toilets were required to be built in Gujarat to make it open defecation free and 80 per cent of the target has already been achieved. So, only 15 to 16 lakh toilets are left to be built by 2019 end.
Difficult part is convincing villagers to use toilets
Singhvi further added, "Even after the construction of toilets, some villagers were not ready to use it and converted them into stores. The students, who stayed in the villages for more than a week, again counselled them about the benefits of the loo and then they began using it. Convincing the villagers of the benefits of the toilets and using them was in fact more difficult for students than giving free labour to construct loos.''
He said that the first year BE students were taken every year on a visit to some villages in interior areas to study their problems with regard to sanitation and other issues and then suggest solutions.