In an endeavour to ensure that no component of sanitation remains unaddressed, the district administration of Kancheepuram, which had previously achieved 100 per cent individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage, is keen to provide access to sanitation to its floating population and effectively manage faecal sludge.
The district has a rural population of 14.4 lakhs. As per the Baseline Survey of 2012, out of 4,11,421 rural households, 1,96,214 had individual toilets. During the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen, 2,15,207 IHHLs were constructed to achieve 100% coverage before the district was declared ODF (open defecation free).
In Phase II of SBM-G campaign, the focus has shifted to providing sanitation access through community sanitary complexes (CSCs) to migrant labourers, pilgrims, daily commuters, and others working in transportation services. The idea is to sustain ODF status, have a functional CSC in every village, improve visual cleanliness of all public spaces and promote solid and liquid waste management.
During 2001-2004, as many as 632 integrated women’s sanitary complexes (IWSC) and integrated men’s sanitary complexes (IMSC) were built in all the village panchayats of the 13 Blocks. Since November 2019, to enable all GPs to participate in the Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) competition the district administration has been using extensive IEC and BCC tools to mobilise the community to renovate and beautify their CSCs and has encouraged them to put in place a system for regular maintenance.
IWSC in Ezhichur GP of Kundrathur Block is Kancheepuram’s nomination for SSSS:
An integrated women’s sanitary complex was constructed in Ezhichur Gram Panchayat in 2002-2003 with the help of the MP fund. This multipurpose sanitary complex was renovated in 2017-18 and yet again repaired and painted for the Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya competition. It was fitted with Indian and western-style toilets and those specifically meant for children, people with disability and the elderly. With a washbasin, bathroom, incinerator, area for laundry, water storage tank, motor room and regular supply of water and electricity, the area meets all the sanitation requirements of the community.
According to resident Parvathy (age 52), the transition of the village from 20% sanitation coverage earlier to the present when the entire community has access to sanitation, was remarkable. Open defecation is truly a thing of the past as behaviour change is there to stay.
The families that use the facility pay a user charge of Rs. 20 per month. The collected funds are used for maintenance.