There was a village on the banks of river Ganga. It was a village with 5000 population. The village had blessings of nature. It always rained at the right time and farmers in the village were very happy. The only thing village lacked was the hygiene. There were no toilets in the village. People used to do it in the open. There were many cases of snakebites because of this in the village. The primary health centre was not in good condition. Public hygiene in the village was not maintained. People were totally unaware of public hygiene. There was no road to the village. People had to go from the mud while going out of the village. Village authorities were much idle. They didn’t do anything to solve these major issues.
Many students of the village used to go to college at the district. The college decided to carry out the NSS camp in that village as it would be easy to arrange because of local students. Two programme officers were appointed for the camp. When they came to the village for the first time, they had to park their bikes a km away from the village. They made their way to the village walking through the mud. In the first 10 days camp, both of them simply analyzed the problems of the villagers. When they came back next year, they took a pledge to transform the village. The first initiative they took was to make each family build a toilet at their home. It was a mammoth task. Two men from the city coming to the village and convince people to spend some money and build a toilet. It looked an impossible task. But both of them were very much confident. They carry out activities in the village making people aware of public and personal hygiene. They began it from children in school. They taught them the importance of a toilet at home. They organized many guest lectures of doctors to tell them the importance of hygiene. They even told the villagers how the government will subsidies them if they build the village. The students of the college who lived in the village helped them to convince the villagers. It took so much time to convince the villagers, but now they could feel their efforts are going in the right direction.
All the NSS cadets joined them and all of them together built a canal for the village. Later they built a proper road for the village. These things made a huge impact on the villagers. They now got an assurance that these two men will surely do something good for us. The chief of the village took the initiative and built a toilet first at it’s home. All the villagers got inspired by this act and one by one everybody began to build the toilet. Each villager now could feel the change in the level of hygiene after building the toilet. On Sundays, villagers themselves came together and cleaned the whole village. Later there came a point when every house in the village had a toilet of their own. The village got recognition on the state level.
After making the village open toilet free, both the programme officers left the village. But the spark they generated in the villagers was still there. Villagers unitedly worked together for the betterment of the village. Here both the programme officers were awarded as the best programme officers on the national level. The villagers gave them a beautiful surprise by winning the national level “Nirmal Gram” award. Both the programme officers were very happy when they received this news.
The next year, the villagers called them for a function. The whole village gathered together to honour them. After receiving the award and respect given by the villagers, both of them were into tears and said, ” This is more precious than the national award “!!!