For World Toilet Day this year, WaterAid India partnered with the Global Citizen Festival. We supported a number of action journeys for Global Citizen Festival. By signing petitions, sharing content on social media channels and sending emails people earned points. These points were then redeemed to get tickets for the Festival on November 19, World Toilet Day at Mumbai.
The action journeys supported by WaterAid India included:
- Congratulating and pushing Kerala Chief Minister to make state 100 per cent open defecation free (ODF)
- Pushing Chief Ministers to include a budget for Fecal Sludge and Sullage Management (FSSM)
- Getting cities to commit to become 100% ODF
- Increase awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)
- Congratulating Union minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation and asking him to do more to make India ODF
WaterAid India in partnership with Global Citizen India and Ketto also ran a fundraiser and asked people to support us for enabling access to water, sanitation and hygiene for people of four districts along the Ganga: Kanpur, Sahibganj, Fatehpur and Samastipur. Three of our supporters Vijeta Rao, Shreevats Pandey and Suresh B successfully raised Rs 50,000 for our projects along the Ganga.
At the Global Citizen Festival, WaterAid India set up a stall and reached out to people on why water, sanitation and hygiene matters. At the stall we set up a game called the Dabba Dol. As part of the game people had to use balls or slingshots to topple water containers. The concept of the game was adapted from what the Dabba Dol gang does to stop people from defecating in the open.
Week long activities in Uttar Pradesh
WaterAid India regional office in Uttar Pradesh organised various events like Swachtha Goshthi (interaction with community members), Ratri Chaupals (meetings at night), Swachtha Rath rally which passed through market places, blocks including open defecation villages with banners highlighting messages around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The week long activities were held across eight districts of Uttar Pradesh and reached 40,210 people.
Eight slums where WaterAid India is working were declared open defecation free (ODF) and recognised by Kanpur Municipal Corporation. A series of ODF declaration ceremonies were held on this day in these slums.
A meeting of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) beneficiaries from across Lucknow urban was organised by Lucknow Municipal Corporation to discuss, debate and dialogue on the progress made in toilet construction. WaterAid India Regional Manager North, Farrukh Rahman Khan participated in the meeting and expressed his concerns that the state capital has not been able to cater to the needs for clean and safe public toilets for women in particular. He highlighted that according to Uttar Pradesh’s public health manual, there should be one toilet seat for 35 men and one toilet seat for 25 women in a city whereas in reality there is hardly one seat for 2,500 people in Lucknow with three million population.
A signature campaign was also held to focus on accessible toilets for women in colleges. The campaign was held in 26 colleges of the city and gathered 5200 signatures. The demand will now will be placed before Minister of State Higher Education, Sharda Pratap Shukla for action.
In Gaya, Bihar the focus was on volunteering for safe sanitation. An event was held in partnership with National Service Scheme (NSS) Gaya where panchayat members with volunteers from NSS took an oath to provide their services in making Gaya clean.
Partnership with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
Basti Vikas Manch (Civil Society Platform) in collaboration with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) organised an event ‘’World Toilet Day – A day to Think and Act”. The event was attended by decision makers from GHMC and civil society partners working on WASH in the city. The objective of the meeting was to discuss WASH issues in Hyderabad city and identify possible and practical ways of converging all forms of WASH interventions in the city to achieve holistic goals of Swachh Bharat. The programme served as a platform for exchange of ideas, approaches, and thoughts and explore possible future cooperation among different stakeholders in the sector. B. Janardhan Reddy, IAS, Commissioner, GHMC gave the inaugural address and stressed the importance of synergetic efforts to realise the objective of Swachh Bharat and Swachh Telangana. He appreciated the efforts made by Basti Vikas Manch to help make WASH accessible to all. The event also acted as a platform to discuss the revival of City Sanitation Task force (CSTF). It was decided to take forward the formation of CSTF at the city level.
In Medak, Siddipet and Nizamabad districts of Telangana and Vizianagaram and Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh awareness programmes and rallies were held with school students, teachers, and local political leaders. A total of 956 students, 30 teachers and 10 political representatives participated in the meetings in Medak and Siddipet. In Srikakulam district, an event was held to stress on the need for having toilets at workplace.
Citizen Report Card in Raipur
To mark World Toilet Day, Chhattisgarh WASH Forum organised a state-level workshop to share findings from a Citizen’s Report Card. WaterAid India’s regional office in Chhattisgarh designed the questionnaire for the survey and integrated it with the mWater tool and analysed the results. The survey was undertaken in 96 open defecation free gram panchayats in five districts of Chhattisgarh and reached 3,000 houdeholds. Data was collected on four major areas of SBM: information dissemination, toilet technology, quality and uses of toilet constructed and user satisfaction. The event was attended by 60 people including stakeholders and other civil society partners. Some of the suggestions and recommendations made in the workshop included:
- Beneficiaries receive payment late which indirectly affects ODF sustainability so this issue should be minimised.
- Panchayati Raj Institution members from many ODF gram panchayats shared that they are comfortable in mobilising people for toilet construction work but still they are facing difficulty in promoting and ensuring 100 per cent use. Capacity building training related to behaviour change communication should be provided to key village leaders.
- Civil society should focus on ODF verification process.
- Under SBM the focus currently is only on toilet construction. It should move towards other components of WASH.
In Kanker a Swachtha fancy dress competition was held and 234 people participated in the event. In Bilaspur and Korba signature campaigns were organised in ODF villages to pledge for usage of the toilets constructed and reached 2000 people. In Indore, a programme was organised in Bhuri Tekri slum to sensitise people on the need and use of toilets. Around 160 childrena and 88 community people participated in the programme.
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