IHHLs in Ranchi get solar based LED lights


With a view to motivating beneficiaries towards sustained usage of toilets, the district administration of Ranchi has organized solar based LED lights.

“It was an initiative by our own field staff.  When light in the toilets are powered by solar light and do not depend on electricity which is fluctuating or irregular, we can be certain that the people will use them,” said District Collector, Ranchi, Mr. Mahimapat Ray.

Beneficiaries are very happy with the initiative as they can use the toilet without difficulty at night, he added, of the step to ensure sustainability.  In addition, a water tap connection has been fixed just outside each facility.

Earlier, the district officials noticed that in the absence of power, people would resort to relieving themselves outdoors.  This was defeating the purpose of the behavioral change as envisaged in the Swachh Bharat Mission.

“Sanitation was not a big priority in the villages prior to the launch of SBM Scheme. Since the roll of the sanitation scheme, there has been huge behavioural change among the people.  However, there was an underlying gap of decline in the usage of toilets due to lack of lighting during the nights,” the DC explained. Taking all the above observations in consideration, the administration has started installing Solar LED lights in the toilets.  The initiative has increased the usage of the toilets in the installed ones drastically.

The solar LEDs are being provided through VWSC and through 14 FC funds for the Panchayats.  A total of 125 Households have been provided with 125 lights for the toilets. Each LED light costs Rs. 300/- There is also a complete convergence with UJALA Yojana which has a dual fold effect of increasing the cost and power efficiency.  The government is planning to increase the coverage through CSR provision from electronics companies.  The solar lights are very easy to install and require minimum effort for installation. The burn out period is more than 3 years which removes replacement problems.

In October 2014, the coverage of toilets in Ranchi was 17.72% where as the current coverage is 71.3%.  A total of 2,60,000 toilets have been built under SBM.  October 2018 is the target set and the administration is working on a mission mode to achieve the ODF target before that date.


Community sanitary complexes, SLWM, and toilets for new HHs in Mizoram


Having been declared open defecation free (ODF) in March 2018, Mizoram has a host of practices in place to sustain its ODF status.  From mandatory construction of toilets for new households to community sanitary complexes with sufficient running water, the district also has an efficient solid waste management mechanism.

Monitoring of toilet usage is carried out by committees at village, block, district and state levels.  Headed by the District Swachh Bharat Gramin Committee under the chairmanship of the District Collector, these committees have representation from all line departments such as Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), Rural Development (DRDA), Health, Education, Social Welfare, Information and Public Relations as well as several NGOs who were involved in the toilet construction campaign (with the help of MGNREGA funding) from the early stages.

The Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) which has been involved in survey and selection of beneficiaries for toilet construction will now identify new households for whom toilets have to be constructed.

Community sanitary complexes have been located near market places, community halls or places that see large gatherings.   Sufficient water has been assured in those complexes to ensure usage and proper maintenance.  Maintenance of these complexes is the responsibility of either the village authority or a local NGO.  In certain places, the sanitation complex will have room for a small shop which is given free of rent.  In turn, the shop keeper would maintain the washroom which will be operated as a pay-and-use facility that would suffice for water charges, etc.

MizoramAs far as solid waste is concerned, it is collected in a trolley vehicle operated by the village council or sanitation committee, and paid for from the sanitation fee collected from households at the rate of Rs. 20-30 per month.  Some villages have purchased their own vehicles by taking a loan for this purpose.

In addition, sanitation related days/weeks such as Swachhta Hi Seva, Global Hand washing Day, etc are observed to build awareness among students and communities.

Haryana’s plans for ODF-S

With a view to ensuring open defecation free sustainability (ODF-S), Haryana has engaged teams of motivators, each with specific roles, designated area of work and a stipulated incentive plan.  In addition, it has launched an ODF-plus campaign which has a target to ensure total sanitation in terms of solid waste management, improved sewerage lines, storm water drains and pucca cement roads, in addition to open defecation free status.

Among their tasks, are to collect household level data in a prescribed format for preparation of an ODF-plus plan in collaboration with every gram panchayat (GP) in the cluster.

Another duty of the motivators is to bring the cluster in their purview under the solid waste management initiative.  In this regard, they need to ensure that – at least 80% of the households in the cluster are having their solid waste collected at their homes; user charges at the rate of Rs. one per day are collected from at least 50% of the households; and segregation of bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste is done.

As far as liquid waste is concerned, they need to ensure that the clusters they are responsible for are brought under the liquid waste management initiative.  In this, the motivators will ensure that – at least 80% of the households in the cluster are connected to community/individual or village level centralized system for management of grey (kitchen, washing, and bath) water.  Ensuring that households do not allow septic tank effluent (black water) to flow into the drains, and that the same is managed within the household’s leach pit or making certain that faecal sludge is safely taken away from the village is also their responsibility.

Yet another task of the motivators is to ensure that every cluster achieves and sustains ODF-plus status.  Towards this, they need to ensure that solid and liquid waste management systems are functional; and that the cleanliness indexes of the villages improve.

They also need to promote sustainability of ODF status in all the GPs.  In this regard they would visit all the households, schools and anganwadis to ensure functionality and 100% usage of toilets by everyone.  In addition, the motivators are required to ensure that each village in the cluster will have at least 5 bio-gas plants; and at least 10 households have kitchen gardens.

For every task that is taken up, deliverables, share of incentive to be released, and responsibility of verifying the deliverables before payment have been clearly outlined.

Finally, they would assist the GP to hold gram sabhas every quarter to review ODF-plus progress; upload cleanliness index report for every village every month; meet with nigrani samitis/VWSCs every month for review and discussion of progress and problems.

Vaanar Sena, waste treatment, the promise of piped water sustain Delmi’s ODF status


It’s been three years since the village of Delmi in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh was declared open defecation free (ODF).  Super proud of its status, the panchayat and district officials have in place a basic but fool-proof system to sustain the same.

The village was the first in the State, to earn the ODF distinction within a month’s time.  This was made possible because the panchayat was taken up as a pilot project to build 150 toilets using MNGREGA funds.  Painted in bright colours of red and yellow, those toilets today are a matter of pride to the residents of the village.

It is the Vaanar Sena comprising of young boys who scour through the common defecation areas each morning.  Knowing everyone in the village, they are quick to spot those who happen to relieve themselves outdoor.  They promptly provide those names to the panchayat secretary or village elders who counsel them against defecating in the open.

DharIn addition, the majority of the families do basic segregation of waste at household level, although they do not have a pickup service for this.  As far as bio-degradable waste is concerned, it is dropped into compost pits that many have close to their homes.  People seem keen to keep their village and surroundings clean.  In the pipeline are plans to make piped water available to all homes.  This activity though sanctioned is yet to commence.

Over the past couple of years, there is a noticeable change in the attitudes of people, according to ZSBP-Dhar, Poonam Brar.  Women are confident and comfortable, having access to sanitation.  They guarantee that not a single woman resorts to the practice of open defecation.  All public buildings have well-maintained toilets that are used by all office-goers. In schools, there are separate toilets for boys and girls.  Significantly, in the event of visitors or relatives coming to the village, the host family is responsible for ensuring access to toilets and preventing them from answering nature’s call outdoors.

Tackling reluctance with the help of Revenue & Police departments

revenue and police departments

Active convergence with Revenue and Police departments has played a decisive role in expediting progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) campaign in two stagnant blocks of Ambad in Jalna and Ahmedpur in Latur of Maharashtra.

Jalna SBM team planned a strategy of positive incentive in consultation with Tehsildar Mr. Bharaskar and the Revenue Department.

Incentives were offered in appreciation of positive behaviour of families having and using a toilet, such as waiving of processing charges for their documents and delivery of Pher Utara (planting certificates) at their doorsteps.

Meanwhile, the Talathi office stamped documents in two colours – green ink for people having a toilet, and red ink for people not having toilets – stressing upon the urgency of having access to toilets.

On the other hand, Latur team involved the Police department in awareness meetings and monitoring.  To facilitate community acceptance Mr. Pujari, PSI deputed his staff to work alongside SBM teams; while he himself visited some of the villages to explain the significance of sanitation to people. With his authority he was able to successfully influence people to accept positive sanitation practices.

Contributing their best in those SBM activities, the two departments gave the much needed boost to the campaigns in the respective districts.

“I feel proud that I could contribute to SBM in my administrative authority.  It was an opportunity to go beyond the call of duty,” said Mr. Bharaskar, Tehesildar, block Ambad.

(From UNICEF Maharashtra)

Celebrating a toilet

Toilet celebrationThat more and more people in the rural areas are convinced about the need to build and use toilets is evident across the country.  Take the example of the Sagare family in Halgara Village, Nilanga block in Latur district of Maharashtra.  They have found a novel way to highlight importance of toilet usage.

After realising the adverse effects of open defecation on health, particularly on children, the Sagare couple decided to construct their own toilet adjacent to their home.  As the completion of the toilet coincided with their son’s 4th birthday, the couple came upon the idea of decorating the toilet room for the celebration.  They wanted to celebrate the fact that owing a toilet would put an end to open defecation.

In addition, the family posted a picture with their toilet, successfully passing the message to others.

When the District CEO received the photograph on his WhatsApps he shared it with media persons.  That’s how the novel birthday celebration got wide publicity.

“Unless and until everyone in the village adopts safe sanitation practices, our children will not be fully safe,” said Mr. Ajay Sagare, GP Halgara, block Nilanga, district Latur.

(From UNICEF Maharashtra)


Inter personal communication with laggers


Reasons for not having a toilet can vary from family to family.  It could have to do with inadequate space, finance, or some other reason.  The district administration of Pune decided to have a personal dialogue with persons not willing to build toilets in their homes.

Hence, ahead of 2 October 2016, the district sanitation teams stirred up rural Maharashtra with a 42-day long focused drive titled, ‘Bhetigathi Swacchatesathi’ – which called for personal visits to promote sanitation.

Aimed at clarifying doubts and concerns, the visits were specifically meant for the households that did not have toilets at that time.

Setting a target of reach 18 lakh families, which happened to be the state’s target for toilet construction in the year 2016-17, the drive started on 22 August 2016.

Marked as a state-level initiative in every sense, the drive saw the participation of political leaders, administrative officials, and functionaries from line departments who joined hands with the district teams.

Three stimulating activities formed the heart and soul of the household visits. Firstly, a dialogue with families to understand their perception and concerns; secondly, handing over a request letter to build a toilet with an explanation of the social and health benefits of owning a toilet; and thirdly, placing a sanitation sticker on the house based on its status.

There were three categories of stickers:  Fantastic – for those having and using toilets; Medium or 50:50 – for those having toilets but not using them; and Risky – for those not having toilets.  Those sticker messages were pasted on all households in the village and served as reminders to the people.

“Bhetigathi Swacchatesathi was a meticulously planned and executed initiative to strengthen involvement of people and other stakeholders in the sanitation campaign,” said Mr. Sachin Adsul, District IEC Consultant, SBM Pune.

(From UNICEF, Maharashtra)