Travelling from one village to the next can prove to be exhausting enough to blur the difference between one hamlet and the next. However, there is one place that has progressed in such a manner that its development cannot be blurred – Hastede Gram Panchayat (GP) in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Situated in the Govindgarh block of Jaipur, the GP performs as the nerve centre for the region on account of being the chief bus stop for about 20 villages in the block. A few months ago, it was not a place that many would have travelled to willingly for there was no public toilet near the bus stop.
Consequently, it caused a lot of inconvenience to travelling women and men who had to relieve themselves behind bushes nearby. Further, open defecation was rampant as it was obvious from an area near the bus stop.
When Nujjat Khaton from a minority section in the society was elected Sarpanch of the GP, she resolved to make a difference by adopting a sustainable approach towards achieving total sanitation in the area. She held discussions with village leaders and the district administration and came up with a plan to provide access to sanitation. It would be revenue generating community toilet complex that could pay for itself.
The young Sarpanch demonstrated admirable leadership qualities when she roped in companies wanting to advertise their products on the wall of the toilet complex. Through payments received from those local commercials she had a bore well dug close to the bus stop that supplies adequate water. It also takes care of the maintenance of the sanitation facility.
(Contributed by ZSBP, Jaipur)