All the families in Kappaldoddi Gram Panchayat (GP) of Gudur Mandal in Krishna District had toilets constructed in their homes except for 20 who had no space for construction of the same. Keen to make the GP ODF as soon as possible, the Sarpanch identified a space on the outskirts of the village that was earlier used for open defecation and got the Mandal officials to sanction about 30 cents of land to make a sanitary complex.
Designed with the help of the Deputy Engineer and Assistant Engineer, the sanitary complex comprised 20 independent toilets, each of them allocated to one of the 20 families. They were marked to that effect and the families were given keys to their respective toilets to symbolize ownership.
This was one of the many efforts made by the Sarpanch of Kappaldoddi GP which was home to over 4000 individuals. He also appointed Swacchagrahis with Swacchatta Doots or ambassadors who went around the village collecting information and explaining to the people about the benefits of the SBM scheme; and invited district officials who visited the village to talk to the community about sanitation.
However, the Sarpanch played a clever trick. Identifying common defecation sites, he told maintenance staff to stop cleaning those areas. A year down the line, people were baffled and approached the Sarpanch, complaining about the filth and stench. The village headman took this opportunity to inform them about the SBM (G) Scheme, the importance of using toilets and encouraged them to cooperate in making their GP ODF.
To begin with, less than 10 families agreed to construct toilets. But when financial assistance started to come in, more families were willing to make space in their homes for the facility. The Sarpanch played a commendable role in submitting their applications and getting dues cleared. For those who were short of resources, he got them loans from self-help groups, ensuring they were repaid when SBM funds were released. He also convinced masons, carpenters and construction teams to complete work early, assuring them of timely payments.
The last 20 of them then had the use of the sanitary complex with adequate water supply, a hand pump and other paraphernalia. The GP was declared ODF in 2015 but the Sarpanch is now keen to achieve complete sanitation in the village and improve sanitation facilities in their school.