About six months ago, Thangapapa from Ganapathypuram panchayat of Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu had a brand new toilet built just outside her home. She and her family used it regularly, having understood the benefits of using a household toilet. Their former practice of defecating in the open was a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, during the recent Gaja cyclone that caused widespread devastation in Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree fell on Thangapapa’s house, completing damaging the super structure of the toilet.
While this would not have posed a problem a few months ago, the woman who has become accustomed to using a toilet cannot think of going outdoors to perform her ablutions. Given that the toilet pit and pan are intact, she has now used some old cloth to make a makeshift curtain around the toilet, which allows her to use the facility.
Clearly, this woman is an example of behavior change having occurred in the true sense.
Recently, the district administration found a donor to help rebuild the super structure that was destroyed.
Sanitation coverage of Pudukkottai district before October 2014 was 53%. After constructing as many as 132,597, the district was declared ODF on 31st March 2018. To ensure sustainability, regular IEC campaigns are being held through convergence of various departments, and involving Swachhagrahis for regular follow up of toilet usage.
(Inputs: Ashwin, ZSBP-Pudukkottai)