Open Defecation Free (ODF) is the termination of faecal-oral transmission, defined by:
- No visible faeces found in the environment/village; and
- Every household as well as public/community institutions using safe technology option for disposal of faeces.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) has focused on achievement of open defecation free (ODF) villages.
Many villages across India are now declaring themselves as Open Defecation Free. The States are also verifying the same as per their respective mechanisms. The achievement of ODF involves to a great extent work of behaviour change, sustenance of which requires concerted efforts by the community. In the past, there have been slippages from Nirmal status in the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) awarded villages. Therefore, it is important to draw lessons regarding those slippages and work out activities that minimize that risk.
A key factor is close engagement with such villages for a period of time after it becomes Open Defecation Free. Many Districts and States have evolved certain parameters to maintain sustainability of ODF. Based on such good practices, guidelines for ODF sustainability are being framed to guide the States and Districts in sustaining the ODF status. These guidelines are only inductive and the States are free to adopt other measures, as deemed suitable to them, to sustain ODF.