The deadline to earn Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for Raipur in Chhattisgarh is 15th August 2017.
As of 1st July 2017, it has 69.25% Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) coverage. The administration is adopting innovative measures to accomplish the goal.
Mr Nileshkumar Kshirsagar, CEO of the Zilla Panchayat at Raipur said, “Essentially, our aim is to make toilets a priority for everyone and in this regard we have carried out various programmes using the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to bring about the desired behavioural changes”.
The focus has been on constructing toilets based on their demand. This is being achieved by changing behaviour before building toilets through active community participation. This approach is seen as the only way to perpetuate sustainable sanitation.
Darwaza Band rally is organised every Sunday in Dondekhurd Gram Panchayat (GP) to create awareness on the importance of toilets and to motivate people to use them. The rally was inspired by Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Sharma who have been part of the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is a part of ‘Eik Praya Hammar Sughhar Gaon Dondekhurd’, which means ‘an initiative for our clean Dondekhurd (GP)’. It encompasses several village level programmes that revolve around cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation.
Voting For A Cleaner Village
Swachhata Matdaan or voting was held on 11th June in 250 GPs that are already declared ODF. More than 600 people voted in order to identify those who are still resorting to open defecation. This is a unique strategy which helps villages maintain cleanliness.
ODF Brigades By Women
The district officials believe in ‘teach a woman and you teach a generation’. Although CLTS includes the whole community, the role of women in bringing about the transformation has been emphasised through other initiatives. Women took the lead as they made ODF brigades and kept vigil on open defecation sites from as early as 4 am. They also persuaded their husbands to make toilets in residential premises, which seems likes the beginning of a sustainable change.
Women Self-Help Groups
An active network of women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) has been formed in Raipur. A group of 12 women participate in providing inter-loaning for toilet construction. Around 80% of women in the Budera GP, Aarang Block, are associated with SHGs.
Motivating People To Build Their Own Toilets
The officials linked the use of toilets with the dignity of women and the health of individuals and the community as a whole. They refused to offer upfront government incentives since they believe that people are safeguarding their own health by building toilets. The team understands that anything given for free is not valued. Utilizing their own funds would ensure that people use the toilets. Incentives were paid after 3 months of usage and ODF verification.
To make people understand that twin-pit toilets are better for rural settings, a pit emptying activity was undertaken. Mr Robert Chambers, Mr Jamie Myres of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) UK and the Secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) participated in this.