The district administration of Giridih in Jharkhand had organised training in CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) for Swachhagrahis. While this created a large pool of trained motivators, it has also resulted in a fairly positive, quick and visible outcome in collective hygiene behaviour practice.
About 164 Swachhagrahis, Panchayat volunteers and Jal Sahiyas from the blocks of Tisri, Bengabad and Jamua participated in the residential training workshop, organised by the district administration of Giridih with technical assistance of UNICEF between 21st and 24th March, 2018. The event was ably supported by DDC-Giridih, Mr. Mukund Das and DC-Giridih, Mr. Manoj Kumar.
Similar training in CLTS was given to Swachhagrahis from the blocks of Giridih, Deori, Gandey, Bagodar, Sariya and Birni in June, 2017.
The target for the district to be declared open defecation free (ODF) is June 2018. However, with sanitation coverage standing at 60% and just 2 of the 13 blocks and 118 of 358 panchayats declared ODF, the district has a long way to go.
In addition, there are as many as 13000 dysfunctional toilets in the entire district which need to be fixed. As far as behaviour change is concerned, there are certain marginalised areas where the practice of open defecation is socially accepted, posing other challenges at the community level.
The district administration is keen to ensure community participation. This is because, from past experiences, they had learnt that when communities play an active part in toilet construction, quality of IHHLs is much better in comparison to other areas where participation of communities was missing. Hence they had to focus on behaviour change activities. This was imperative because they wanted to make certain that newly constructed toilets would not convert in defunct ones, owing to lack of usage.
Under the leadership of the DC and headed by the Executive Engineer, PHED and the participation of all key functionaries of the district SBM team, the workshop was successful in commencing the process of behaviour change in Giridih, on track to becoming ODF and fully sanitized.
During the four days of training, focus was given to utility, principles and practices of CLTS; and the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin in Jharkhand and the rest of India. Discussions that followed involved construction of IHHLs, triggering exercises, follow-up strategy, technology options, attitude and behaviour of CLTS practitioners towards bringing about the required behaviour change. Every participant was given an opportunity for hands-on experiential learning through triggering in at least 2 villages during the workshop. While triggering was done in the evenings, morning follow up was conducted in the same villages the very next day to make the exercise impactful.
The final day saw sessions on construction of soak pits, pointing out the benefits of such technology among communities of Jharkhand where water scarcity is common during summers.
The methodologies used during the workshop included group exercises, role plays, discussions during the plenary sessions, film shows and hands-on learning in villages.
The training resulted in the formation of a team of 164 trained CLTS practitioners who are presently engaged in pre-triggering, triggering and follow-up in their respective areas. The participants in their respective Block level teams prepared action plans for implementing CLTS during the next 1-3 months under the guidance of the district SBM team.
This CLTS training has proved to be a good hands-on training and has created positive vibes regarding the implementation of SBM (G) in the District. The administration is hopeful that the marginalised communities will join together and contributed toward making of a Swachh Giridih.
By ZSBP-Giridih, Akash Ganguly