Sabar Shouchagar
District Magistrate, Nadia

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Globally India accounts for 58% of all open defecations in the world, as per WHO-UNICEF Report, March, 2014. West Bengal is an Indian state on its eastern side with 20 Districts (administrate units). Nadia is one of the rural backward district of West Bengal with 5.14 million population, with around 2 million people practicing open defecation. Besides being the major cause for diarrhoeal deaths, malnutrition and stunting of growth in children, it drains the economy- the economic cost of open defecation in India is calculated to be around Rs 2.4 trillion ($38.4 million) annually. The Social impact of the practice of open defecation is also enormous. It's a shameful experience for all, especially for Women of all age groups. The health hazards of open defecation are more pronounced in case of infants and children. Women have to face terrible miseries, including rape and many crimes against them, besides its health impacts. Open defecation being the main reason for water sources being contaminated has resulted in a whopping 10,4467 cases of diarrhoeal diseases; 28 cases of diarrhoeal death; 1195 cases of severely malnourished children and 81,664 cases of moderately malnourished children in Nadia in 2012-2013.For elderly and disabled, having to venture outside every time to defecate in the fields entails enormous physical mental and physiological risks. In the district of Nadia, to assess the status of latrine use we undertook a detailed house to house survey in December 2012 – January 2013, and identified 3.09 hundred thousand households ( corresponding to around 1.5 million people) out of a total of 10.1 hundred thousand households in the district, having no access to toilets and thus practicing open defecation in rural areas alone. Thus, despite all efforts in behavioural change and construction of household latrines through different Government sponsored schemes, the behavioural pattern remained unchanged and a major breakthrough was badly needed. Hence the main challenge before the District Administration was to ensure mass mobilization of the General Public, making them aware of the health hazards of the ‘Practice’ of open defecation; catalysing and bringing in behavioural change against the centuries old practice; creating and providing access to latrines for every family without having access to latrine in the district and, thus weaning the community out of their centuries old practice of defecating in the open and to sustain the behavioural change to make the district open defecation free. It was always a challenge before the district to design, plan and execute a programme for social engineering and to provide universal access to latrine for all families in the district, within the financial, technical and human resource constraints of a third world country like India. The allocation of fund under the sectoral programme for sanitation ( Nirmal Bharath Abhijan) @ Rs 4600 per latrine was neither sufficient to construct a durable and hygienic toilet nor was it sufficient to mobilise and sustain a full fledged community movement for behavioural change.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Objectives : 1. To generate mass awareness for adapting improved sanitation and hygiene practices at family and community level for collective behaviour change and eliminate open defecation 2. To improve access to sanitary toilets to families without any facility and enable communities using toilets and stop open defecation 3. To bring in substantial improvement in health indices of district viz incidents of child diarrhoea : diarrhoeal death; child anaemia and malnutrition etc. through improved sanitation. Strategy : (1) Mass community mobilization to bring in the desired behavioural change against the practice of open defecation:- First step towards community mobilization was to orient Peoples representatives of all strata, through extensive three tier training programmes. Educational institutions and school children were made integral part of the campaign, for spreading the message and need for use of sanitary latrine to parents. ‘Sanitation pledge’ taking was made compulsory in every school from 2nd October,2013, on every Monday till completion of campaign phase. Mass mobilization and participation of women were ensured through SHG clusters; Mobilization of Faith leaders ensured social sanctity ; Mobilization of community health workers and doctors highlighted the Public health impacts of poor sanitation. (2) New concept in financing a social project:- Considering the fund constraints of the Govt., a new model on pooling in of resources was formulated. Thus the fund available with MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – the wage employment guarantee Scheme in India) was used for wage payment for pit digging and construction of the toilet ; similarly, the amount available from the National Sanitation Programme was used for making material payment of toilet construction. To ensure ownership by individuals concerned beneficiary contribution was made mandatory @ minimum 10% of the total cost and were encouraged to offer labour ( health permitting) in lieu of beneficiary payment in cash. The human resources and network available in the form of trained SHG women & clusters under another national flagship programme called NRLM was used as executing agency. 3) Increasing efficiency of services : Streamlining of processes that enable convergence and easy fund flow from multiple development programmes leading to reduced time between demand and supply . ( Earlier it required many months for sanction and completion of a latrine , after the initiative the service is delivered within 15days the most ) 3) Promoting Partnership : The project expanded the partnerships with women SHGs to strengthen the supply chain of sanitation service delivery, involved new NGOs and CSOs to mobilise communities for generating awareness, involved school children for promoting the sanitation and hygiene messages, involved nutrition workers , health workers, teachers and elected representatives to use their influence and promote the key programme messages. This strengthened the public and private partnership around a shared vision and mission. 4) Transform Administration : The entire district administration was sensitized and mobilised for a shared understanding and agreement for according the highest priority to sanitation and hygiene promotion under the umbrella of Sabar Souchagar. The DM demonstrated as role model to spend extra time, passion and commitment to ensure that all the officials also emulate the model and generate a synergy. This worked very well and generated an enabling environment for improving the efficiency and effectiveness for decision making and monitoring of the programme. 5) Improve access and promote equity : The programme outreach was planned in such a way that it could provide the services to remote villages, difficult riverine islands, vulnerable groups, poor and marginalised that enable improving inclusion into the national flagship programme ambit and get the benefit.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
A. The well planned strategy of systematic mass mobilization involving peoples representatives; educational institutions and school children; Self-help groups women clusters; Faith organizations; health workers and Sanitation Workers ensured unprecedented community mobilization and participation in the entire process of planning and execution ensuring demand generation towards sanitary latrines and change in behaviour against open defecation. B. Mobilizing & training women Self Help Group to act as Rural Sanitary Mart in execution of the project’, instead of civilcontractors’ ensured – wider community participation; Greater involvement and sensitization of women in the entire movement; women became catalyst and ‘change ambassadors’ of the programme for the rest of the community; and also ensured financial and livelihood empowerment of the women Groups. C. An improved synergy and effective convergence of existing sectoral schemes of the Government was worked out to finance and execute ‘Sabar Sourchagar’ Project’ without bothering the already resource crunch Government for any special financial allocation for the project - thus making it sustainable and replicable.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
With the astounding record of West Bengal in open defecation, the District Administration decided in late 2012 to bring in a change through Community Participation. A community led house to house Survey was carried out in the entire district during December 2012 – January, 2013. Women SHG motivators doubled as enumerators and Supervisors for the survey. Survey identified around 3,09,881 households (Corresponding to around 1.5 million people) without toilet/ access to toilet, out of a total of 10,10456 rural households, and thus practicing open defecation. A. Behavioural Change :- Through (1) extensive community mobilization (2) imaginative use of innovative and participatory IEC activities. First step towards community mobilization was to orient the peoples representatives of all strata through extensive interactive training programmes; workshops and field visits in the month of March – April, 2013. (b) Educational Institutions and school children were made integral part of the campaign for awareness generation and need for sanitary latrines to parents/ households. ‘Sabar Souchagar pledge taking’ was made compulsory in all schools(4212 schools with 8.2 hundred thousand children) on every Monday ensuring spread of awareness. (c) Women SHGs were identified and trained to become ‘Rural Sanitary Mart’ to execute the project. The involvement of women SHG Groups ensured greater involvement and sensitization of women in the entire movement . (d) mobilization and participation of faith organisations and spiritual leaders ensured that the religious melas and festivals (plenty in India) became the perfect launch pad for awareness generations. (e) involvement of health workers and sanitary workers highlighting the healthy hazards of open defecation. 2. Imaginative use of innovative and participatory IEC activities : Including :- a. Sabar Souchagar pledge taking in all schools of the district : b. SHG women cycle rally in all the villages c. Mini Marathon at all Block Headquarters d. Mega Signature campaign at all sub urban areas e. Hot Air Balloon with sanitation messages f. Sanitation Express g. Human chain with pledge against open defecation from one end to the other end of the district, covering a distance of 116 km involving 1.16 hundred thousand persons. h. Using temple gatherings; Friday prayers and Sunday mass in spreading the message (B) Convergence model towards ensuring latrine access for all : The unique feature of Sabar Souchagar initiative is the designing and execution of a convergence model by pooling in resources available from various sector specific Programmes of the Government . The construction under ‘Sabar Souchagar’ movement was started on a pilot basis in 17 Gram Panchayats (Lowest tire of local self-government responsible for rural development for an average 20,000 population) from 15th July, 2013 by observing ‘Nadia Sanitation Day’ with a workshop at all levels of administration. Based on the experience from pilot study, after making necessary amendment, Sabar Souchagar model was extended to all 187 Gram Panchayats of the district from 2nd October, 2013 with an ‘Oath of affirmation’ against open defecation and a pledge for making the district open defecation free at all villages. Few Hundred thousands of people participated in the Oath of affirmation across the district. Execution of the project was entrusted with ‘Rural Sanitation Mart’ on behalf of the gram panchayet . The women SHG clusters were identified and trained to become Rural Sanitary Mart. Each Rural Sanitary Mart was assigned with the task of execution of the project in two gram panchayats (i.e. around 3500 toilets to be constructed). Every day target of construction for sanitary mart were fixed at 10-12 households sanitary latrine to be constructed per Gram Panchayat to complete the process by 30th January, 2015.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
• The Primary Stake holders were the community members who were sensitised and mobilized through extensive participatory method and imaginative IEC activities for a sustained period. Once convinced, the entire movement was taken over and led by the community members themselves. • Civil servants: The District Magistrate who belong to Indian Administrative Service (IAS), as the head of administration at the district level took the challenge and provided leadership from the front and the entire programme was carried out through his combined vision along with a set of dedicated civil servants working under his command. • Public Institutions : The three tire Panchayati Raj Institution, all run by elected Peoples representatives, were the key Players in the formulation and execution of the project. • NGO’s: Sanitary marts which are basically CBO’s were the main executor of the programme. Sanitary Mart, after training and capacity building, transformed into self sufficient rural Service delivery system for rural sanitation and hygiene promotion to sustain the project. • Organizations : The Women Self help Group clusters, once trained and became part of the programme turned out to be the real game changer. Their presence as executing agency ensured Greater involvement and Sensitisation of women in the entire movement . • Private Sector: Private sector agencies like ONGC and SEW chipped in with their CSR fund in supporting and supplementing the social mobilization and sensitizations part. • Educational Institutions : Educational Institutions and school children became integral part of the movement spreading the need for sanitary latrines to their households. • Faith Organizations : Religious leaders and faith organizations once motivated and mobilized became focal point of change. • Other Organizations: State and central Government Panchayat and Rural Development Department and State Sanitation Cell rendered all advise and technical expertise for the movement.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
• Financial Resource : Sabar Souchagar model is distinct with regards to mobilization of resources and in its funding pattern. Each IHHL( Individual household latrine) under the model costs Rs. 10,000.00. Realising the resource constraints of the Government, a new model on proportionate fund sharing pattern was formulated, enhancing and optimising the output. Thus the funds already available with the wage employment Guarantee Scheme ( MGNREGS - the funds of which are available to all districts since 2006) was used to pay wages part for toilet construction, like earth work; digging of pit etc. Similarly, the amount available under the National Sanitation Programme (Nirmal Bharat Abhijan – the funds which are available from 2003) was sourced to pay the material cost of construction like mortar, cement, brick etc. To ensure ownership by individuals concerned beneficiary contribution was made mandatory @ a minimum of 10% of the total cost and were encouraged to offer labour ( health permitting) in lieu of beneficiary payment in cash. Thus the project was actually executed without brothering the already resource crunch government for any special financial allocation for the project - which made it extremely sustainable and replicable. • Human resource : Community mobilization towards behavioural change is the crux of the scheme. The community mobilization was achieved through sustained and participatory activities involving peoples representatives at all strata; educational institutions and school children from all schools (4212 schools with around 8.2 hundred thousand students); the women from around 10,200 women SHG group (@ 10- 12 members per group); faith organisation and religious leaders; health workers and sanitation workers etc. The actual construction of latrines were executed through ‘Rural Sanitary Marts’, most of them being women SHG’s. Once selected and trained the woman SHGs ensured greater involvement and sensitization of the community as a whole; they became change agents and ‘ambassadors’ for rest of the village. Availability of trained man power, especially skilled / semi skilled masons was a great problem initially which was sorted out by bringing in the concept of Rural sanitary Mart ( RSM) and converting existing SHG clusters as RSMs and also through continuous skill up gradation trainings through permanent mason training centres. The SHG resource persons were also engaged as Sabar Souchagar facilitators @ 1 per block and Sabar Souchagar motivators @ 1 per Gram Panchayat for motivation and facilitations of the entire work. The officers and staffs engaged for the work are generally regular employees of the government at district and sub-district levels. • Technical resource: A technically feasible design of toilet which is water efficient, more hygienic and durable was formulated after extensive deliberations with all stake holder and government agencies and outside experts like SIPRD; Kalyani University & UNICEF. Once the model was ready a series of workshops and hands on trainings were conducted with the stake holders to popularise the model . The district administration also set up permanent mason training centres for technical training to maintain and upgrade the technical resources.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
(a) Mass community mobilization leading to demand generation and behavioural change : The individuals, and thus the community, were identified as the primary stake holder, and mass mobilization of the community was made the centre theme. Community mobilization was systematically planned and executed to ensure sensitization, training and participation of peoples representatives: educational institutions and school children; women SHG members and AWW workers; faith organisation and religious leaders; health workers and sanitation workers through sustained and participatory activities. Once the community at different strata were systematically sensitized about the health hazards associated with open defecation, the community became so sensitized and mobilized that demand generation never became an issue with Sabar Souchagar and the change in behaviour pattern became inevitable. (b) Women as change agents: the most significant game changer in the entire initiative was participation of women. The women SHG groups selected and trained to became executors of the programme as ‘ Rural Sanitary Mart ensured: wider community participation; greater involvement and sensitization of women in the entire movement; women becoming catalyst and ambassadors of the programme for rest of the community. It also ensured financial and livelihood empowerment of women group. (On an average each SHG group get to construct 3500 toilets within a period of around 18 months i.e. 200 toilets per month, which involves around Rs. 2 million worth economic activity per month). (c) Massive creation of household latrines: the Sabar Souchagar convergence model succeeded in creating a record number of latrines within a short period, thus providing latrine access to a few hundred thousand people who were otherwise forced to practice open defecation. From 15th July, 2013 to 30th September, 2014 they have been able to complete construction of 1.42 hundred thousand household latrines and another 37000 latrines are under various stages of completion. With this momentum they intended to complete the remaining 1.4 hundred thousand latrines by 30th January, 2015 to provide universal latrine access and to make the district open defecation free D) Introduction of a new concept : Participatory planning, involvement of key stakeholders in the process, involvement of elected representatives, organising joint reviews, and implementing the programme in a mission mode approach inspired the entire functionaries of all departments and a strong positive message for the programme spread, that increased the confidence of the stakeholders and ownership and conviction in the process.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
(a) Being a community led programme, the participation of community at all levels of planning, designing, execution and monitoring ensured community supervision and monitoring of the entire movement . After the sensitization and mobilization of the community at various strata, peer pressure at village and community level became the most effective reasons and incentive for change and accepting Sabar Souchagar model. (b) Involvement of facilitators and motivators : System of Facilitators and Motivators were introduced for community monitoring of the programme. The facilitators and motivators are basically trained resource persons from other SHG groups of the district who were assigned specific block and Gram Panchayets with the responsibility of independently monitoring and motivating the progress of work. (c) Involvement of Government Officials : All government officials starting from district level down to village level, were essentially engaged in the systematic supervision and monitoring of Sabar Souchagar process. A monitoring calendar was devised and followed- where in the progress is reviewed at Gram Panchayet level on every 2nd Friday ; at block level on every 3rd Friday; at Sub divisional level on every 4th Friday and at district level on every 1st Friday of the month with stake holder representatives. (d) A weekly reporting format was devised and used for constant monitoring of the programme. Week and slow running Gram Panchayets and Sanitary marts were inspected regularly and supplemented. (e) Citizens feedback : Regular meetings with PRIs and SHGs and CSO partners provided the platform for regular feedback on the programme implementation and led to improving the response towards service delivery and customer satisfaction. (g) Web monitoring : It was made mandatory for the sanitary mart to submit individual completion certificate along with photograph of beneficiary to block level. Block level technical persons were assigned to justify the report after physical verification. Once inspection is completed same data was uploaded in the web site of MDWS, Government of India for monitoring the progress. (h) SMS based monitoring : An exclusive SMS portal was developed where in it was made mandatory for all sanitary marts and supervising agencies to report progress of individual work in SMS formats. In case of slow progress, automatic SMS alerts were issued to the agencies.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
(a) Old habits die hard : Open defecation as a centuries old habit has ingrained in to the daily life of rural masses in India. Hence the biggest obstacle in successful execution of the project was bringing in behavioural change. Realising the obstacle, the Sabar Souchagar model was designed as a community led initiative where in the main thrust is on mass community mobilisation. The mass community mobilisation was achieved through sustained participatory IEC activities involving the peoples representatives of rural administration, educational institutions and school children, women through SHG Clusters and Anganwadis; faith organisations and religious leaders; health workers and sanitation workers etc. The systematic and planned IEC activities along with peer pressure was successful in overcoming the obstacle towards behavioural change. (b) Acute shortage of trained manpower : Construction of one latrine required 9 unskilled person days and 3 skilled person days. Requirement of skilled/semi-skilled workers were so huge that it became a big obstacle in keeping up the momentum of construction. To address the issue, CBO’s in the form of SHG Clusters were engaged as Rural Sanitary Marts as main executor of initiative and permanent Mason training centres were started for imparting carpenters training to persons from these marts. (c) Resource crunch: The crunch of available resources is the main obstacle in the execution of any public programmes of this proportion; with Rs. 10,000=00 each for every latrine, the total requirement of fund was around Rs 3000 million for the initiative. To overcome the obstacle the initiative was designed in such a way that no special financial allocation was required for executing the project. The model has an inbuilt design of proportionate pooling in of resources already available with various sectors specific scheme of the government .

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
1) Mass Community Mobilization through sustained and imaginative IEC activities : The model has demonstrated in clear terms that well planned & systematic IEC activities, sustained for a threshold period, can bring in mass community mobilization towards any social cause within short periods. In this case the community mobilization was planned and executed through a series of innovative IEC intervention besides the traditional methods. 2) Overflowing demand generation and behavioural change through community mobilization: Through the systematic and planned efforts in community mobilization, the community was mobilized to come out of the centuries old practice of open defecation resulting in a revolutionary chapter in the fight against open defecation. The early converts in the process become change agents and through them they were able to penetrate the rural psyche. In its report, UNICEF documented evidences that demonstrated improved service delivery, behaviour change at family and community level , it reported change in attitude in near cent percent of the population against open defecation; increase up to 98% in usage of newly constructed toilets instead of open defecation and a substantial 22% decline in levels of open defecation across the district within a span of few months from start of the programme. 3) An innovative convergence model : The Sabar Souchagar model also demonstrated the success of planning, designing and execution of an innovative model, taking in to account the constraints of resources and finance in India and demonstrated that the pooling of already available resource under the sectoral schemes could actually become a model project in tackling one of the biggest problems facing modern India. The convergence model was successful in synergising resources available under various heads. It ensured that such an initiative requiring mammoth proportions of finance and resource could be sustained without any special financial allocation from Govt. at various levels. 4) Enabling open defecation free district by providing access to latrines: The Sabar Souchagar model with its unique convergence model combined with a systematic and planned strategy of IEC activities bringing in steady behavioural change has succeeded in enabling construction of 1.52 hundred thousand household latrines within a short period of 1 year and another 37,000 latrines are under various stages of completion. The district has attained threshold for achieving remaining 1.5 hundred thousand latrines by 30th January, 2015 (target date of completion) The project so far has enabled access to latrine for around a million people and once completed in January, 2015 the project will enable access to around 2 million people of Nadia district who were having no access to latrines in their life so far and thus were forced to defecate in the open. This will enable the district to reach open defecation free status. 5) Quantum jump in health indices of the district : The initiative demonstrated in clear terms the stunning impact of decrease in incidence of open defection and improved sanitation. Within a few months of operationalising the initiative there is an overall positive surge in all health and public health related indices of the district, in 2013-2014 in comparison with 2012-2013 period ; like the diarrhoeal cases in the district decreased from 10,4467 cases to 9, 6185 cases; diarrhoeal death cases declined from 28 cases to 19 cases; number of severely malnourished children (under 5 yrs ) declined from 1195 to a mere 675 ; number of moderately malnourished children declined from 81664 to 60652 during this period, as per reports of the health and family welfare department. The increased awareness among communities, increased use of safe water, reduced open defecation and improved hand washing might have contributed to the outcome level indicators. 6) Financial and livelihood empowerment of woman groups : The initiative strategically involved woman not only in sensitization and mobilization of the societies but also in over all planning and execution of project. The woman as executors of project ensured not only greater participation of the community and overall sensitization and involvement of the woman folk in movement. They also acted as game changers by functioning as ambassadors for the rest of the community. In the process they also earned substantial skill and capacity as local manufacturing units leading to their financial and livelihood empowerment.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Sabar Souchagar is a multi sectoral convergence initiative to being in behavioural change as a sustainable solution for open defection. o Financial sustainability: As the initiative has been designed taking into account the scarcity of resources, by pooling in resources which are already available in various sector specific schemes of National and state governments, the financial sustainability is not an issue with Sabar Souchagar model. o As the initiative has been designed community centric involving community at planning, designing , execution and monitoring stages and community ownership of the project has been ensured through behavioural change and sharing of own contribution in financing the project, the project remains socially sustainable. o Two leach pit model to enable long term use of toilet having rural pan that requires less water for flushing makes the model cost effective and most suited for rural areas ensures its cultural acceptability and environmental sustainability. o The Entire Model has been designed with active community participation involving the Panchayeti Raj institution at all three tiers of field level administration has made it a project equally owned and executed by the field level institutions. o The regulatory administration at various levels has been fully involved in designing and planning the project. The design of latrine with double leech pit used under Sabar Souchagar model has been scrutinized for its technical feasibility by Panchayat and Rural Development Department of the Government along with the independent agencies like SIPRD and Kalyani University. o The State Government of West Bengal has already recognized it as a replicable model for elimination of open defecation in rural areas and was awarded with Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence on 15th August, 2014. o The model has been appreciated and recognise as sustainable and replicable model by the Government of India and was presented on National Programme on sanitation held at Gujarat, Delhi, Kashmir etc. The initiative also gained many accolades including the prestigious skotch award 2014 for excellence in administration. Recognizing the importance of the initiative, UNICEF did a month long field level assessment of the programme and attested it as an inspiring model to eliminate open defection in rural India. The UNICEF study acknowledged the extent of behavioural change brought in by sabar souchagar initiative. o Administratively India is divided into 590 districts. The Institutional system which designed , planned and executed the Sabar Souchagar model i.e. the 'District Administration', with its net work of institutions up to village level, is available across the country. o The model of financing the project by pooling in of available resources from various existing schemes are also similarly available. Same is with the man power resources and locally available building materials. Hence the model and the initiative can be disseminated and is easily replicable in every part of India.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
(a) Systemic and planned IEC can bring in Mass Community Mobilisation Participatory and imaginative IEC activities when planned systematically and executed for a threshold period of time can bring in mass community mobilisation towards any social cause. Open defecation being a centuries old behavioural practice, mobilisation of the community at every strata was essential to get into the root cause of the problem. Hence, besides the traditional IEC activities of handbills, posters, banners, miking, graffiti, wall writing etc., many innovative and imaginative strategies were adopted. Considering the involvement and influence of peoples representative in decision making at village level, the peoples representatives were trained to be leaders of the movement; schools and school children were made integral part of the campaign to spread message back to their rural households; woman were trained to become not only motivators but also executors so as to become change agents, faith organisations level of influence were used to touch hearts of believers; health workers and sanitation workers were used to reach out to the health consciousness of the society-with all these when executed systematically, the mass community mobilisation became a reality. (b) Community mobilisation is the best route to behavioural change : The Age Old practice of open defecation cannot be changed and transformed unless we influence the behaviour associated with it. The Sabar Souchagar experiment has demonstrated that the mass community mobilisation is the best way of achieving behavioural change, when the entire community is involved and this is probably where earlier programmes aiming at total sanitation has not succeeded. (c) Resource optimisation can be achieved through pooling in of available resources : Prioritising and optimisation of available scarce resources is a policy dilemma for any developing nation. As the available resources are scare and the demand on resources becoming ever increasing, pooling in of the available resources is the way forward for optimisation of outputs. The Sabar Souchagar model has demonstrated that even within the constraints of scarcity of resources, imaginative pooling in of available resources can lead to exceptionally good result. In the Sabar Souchagar model the wage part were sourced from available funds of National employment guarantee Act, payment for material cost were sourced from funds available with National sanitation schemes and required human resources for creation of project were sourced through available resources under NRLM. (d) Improved sanitation is the game changer: The health hazards of open defecation and lack of personal and community sanitation is well documented and highlighted. The Sabar Souchagar initiative in Nadia district has actually demonstrated on field that the levels of open defection in inversely proportional to incidents of diarrhoea, diarrheal death, anaemia and stunting of growth in children and more, the result become palpable within month of the execution of project. (e) Quality of service delivery matters a lot : Demonstrated that speedy processing of applications of demand, improved confidence of people that led to deposition of contribution in cash in advance, effective communication that could reach in remote villages etc made the difference.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   District Magistrate, Nadia
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Salim Bava
Title:   District Magistrate  
Telephone/ Fax:   91-3472-251001
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   District Magistrates Office, Nadia, West Bengal
Postal Code:   741101
City:   Krishnagar
State/Province:   West Bengal

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