Moved by the ideology of partnership, we at E.S.I. have started an experimental program to build toilets through people’s participation in 3 villages. We’ve utilized the four strengths of Government, Social Workers, Business People, and Workers to go forward with this experiment.
The government program Nirmal Bharat Abhyan (a sanitation scheme) provides subsidies for each new toilet built in rural areas. NGOs, work with people in villages to generate awareness on sanitation issues, such as the need for building toilets. The public, especially economically wealthier people in society, choose to cover the rest of the up- front costs to build toilets for the poorest of the poor. Trained masons in the village use local materials to build toilets for their neighbors and friends in the village.
1. We’ve already built 100 toilets in Sasam, District Banasakantha Gujarat. An NRI from the village wished to contribute to Sasam’s development. After the villagers had invested in building their own toilets, this benefactor gave funds to the poorest of the poor (widows, orphans, single parents) to alleviate the loan or economic burden of toilet building.
2. We’ve built 25 toilets in Lilapur, District Amdavad. A doctor from Amdavad often visits this village. Moved by the desire to share his given wealth with the neighbors, he has decided to contribute extra funds per toilet upon building completion.
3. We’ve built 25 toilets in Pedhamali, District Mehsana. The Sarvodaya Mandal members of the area itself have contributed financially to the project. Persons in need individually receive extra subsidization through this collectively-inspired program.
Over time, this experiment is becoming a People’s Program, with the government and NGOs as a facilitator. Ordinary people from society are becoming inspired by the program to build toilets in the neediest areas. Their actions are taking simple forms as contributing to direct benefactors or village toilet-building funds.