March 2017

Women rally for open defecation-free village

Pungro village in Nagaland was a recipient of the Government of India’s ‘clean village award’ — the women self-help groups in the village, with support from North-East Initiatives Development Agency, played a key role in helping it garner the award

Pungro village in West Kiphire District, Nagaland, lies 1km from Pungro Town, and comprises 205 households with a population of 1,800. It is the recipient of Nirmal Gram Puraskar 2015 or ‘clean village award 2015’ of the Government of India. Pungro Village is now the cleanest village under the Pungro sub-division.

Maintained flower beds along the village lanes
Each household in the village has an individual household latrine (IHHL) because the Pungro Village Council passed a strict order that all households have to have IHHLs and rear their livestock in closed enclosures. Those failing to do so were heavily fined.

The women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) played a major role in achieving open defecation-free status in Pungro village. There are 15 women SHGs in the village. They often compete with each other to plant and maintain flower beds along the village lanes and roads, which add to the natural beauty of the village.

Bamboo waste bins are kept in every nook and corner of the village. The Baptized Youth Endeavour members belonging to the local church have also donated waste bins to every shop in the village. The Pungro Student Union has also contributed to install bamboo waste bins in every household in the village.

The whole community is involved in keeping the village scenic, clean and hygienic, ensuring that Pungro village is one of the most admired and frequently visited by tourists and villagers from other regions.

The President of a leading women SHG, Nuluruh (meaning Strong Bond), Kumkila Tsongs, has this to say about the open defecation-free status of the village

“Our village is the recipient of Nirmal Gram Puraskar in 2015. It is open defecation free (ODF). Our Village Council passed a strict resolution that every household should construct a toilet and defecate in latrines. Villagers found defecating in the village are heavily fined. Now we are a 100% ODF village. With the timely support of North-East Initiatives Development Agency (NEIDA) and their regular training on sanitation and hygiene seminars, we were able to achieve the ODF status.

Recently, after attending the Sanitation and Hygiene Seminar organised by PHED/NEIDA, village SHG leaders came together and, in January 2017, passed the resolution not to have pet dogs in the village. We are rearing pigs and other livestock in a closed enclosure (pig sty, hen sty, etc). Our children now defecate in the toilets and wash their hands with soap even in our absence.

Please visit our village.”


Sanitation fast facts about Pungro village

  • About 80% of the villagers practice simple hand washing with soap before and after meals, and after defecation.
  • Livestock, pigs and hen are reared in closed enclosures. Villagers whose livestock, pig or hen are found in the open are fined.
  • Open defecation is completely eradicated.
  • The village uses dustbins.
  • All households have toilets.
  • Organic kitchen waste is used for pig feed, and organic waste which is not used for pig feed is thrown in the jungle.
  • Non-biodegradable wastes like plastics are burnt. Metal waste is thrown in the jungle.
  • The villagers do not practice reuse of non-biodegradable waste.
  • The villagers are aware that kitchen waste water can be used for irrigating kitchen garden.

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