Name: Ghanshyam Prasad, Place: Gosaipur, Varanasi, UP
Ganashyam Prasad, a 60 years old visually impaired elderly person built the first toilet in Gosaipur village in Varanasi district in UP to improve sanitation & hygiene at his native village. What is most impressive is that Mr. Prasad he educated himself on the hazards of ODF and built the toilet in 2006 by saving from his meager monthly pensions from the Government.
He has been a relentless campaigner for better sanitation and hygiene standards and has joined hands with the Dettol Banega Swachh India initiative to spread his message. He is a proactive catalyst for change across villages. He travels with the Community Mobilizer and speaks at different community events highlighting the example of his village & others, motivating the target audience to adopt better sanitation & hygiene standards.
His narratives, steeped in local knowledge & practices, have a significant impact on the minds of the target audience; whether it is on how attaining ODF can reduce diseases to how easy it is to build toilets.
Key Impact / Messages:
Catalysts and individual change agents can be force multipliers & their energies and knowledge must be harnessed by the initiative
Provide the support network and infrastructure for these individual change agents to be effective in a number of villages
An inspiring story that should be used as a best practice example and use his quotes to challenge Change Leaders and programme beneficiaries alike
Name: Geeta Devi Place: Taramau Gadi, Kannauj, UP
There is a common perception in rural India that a toilet has to be outside the household. The situation was same in Geeta Devi’s house. She not only broke this norm by constructing a toilet within her household; she constructed it inside her home with her husband's support. Being concerned about the safety of their two growing daughters and keeping a space constraint in mind they shifted their stove in the walkway and converted their kitchen structure into toilet and ensures that it remains absolutely clean. The project has increased the awareness and knowledge at all levels that now villagers understand the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. She says, that prior to the DBSI project, women and children had to face several issues related to health, hygiene, safety etc. but the situation has improved due to behaviour change among villagers.
Geeta Devi has been recognized by global organizations for breaking the norm and bringing a change. She has become a source of inspiration to nearby villages and respected as the pride of her village.
Mothers are effective change leaders as they are embedded in the households and can bring about change in attitude towards sanitation in their communities.
Such inspiring stories motivate other women in the community to adopt toilets and trigger behaviour change in the community at large.
Name: Tanak Toti Place: Bhagalpur, Bihar
A chaupal organised by the Dettol Banega Swachh India programme enabled Tanak Toti to realise the serious adverse health and economic impact his family faces until they adopt improved sanitation and hygiene standards. He was also concerned about the safety of the women & girls in the family.
Despite failure to receive government assistance, and living in desperate poverty, Tanak decided to build a toilet for his family. According to him, bricks and cement were secured on request from local construction sites and built the toilet himself with a total investment of less than INR 2000.
One behaviour change of a family defecating in the open and a success story a success story than can trigger aspiration
Focusing on “low hanging fruits” is the right approach
Community activities are useful tool to transform minds & behaviour
Need more simple support measures for households in poverty to receive funds to build toilets at home & therefore need proactive change leaders who can help deliver this.
Village Name: Tarmau Gadi Kannauj, Place: Uttar Pradesh
Taramau Gadi village turned from a 74% open defecation rate to a village with ODF status in 12 months due to change in mindsets & behavior of citizens who took ownership of the initiative, led by an effective Change Leader – the Village Pradhan Tennese.
Key Impact / Messages
Reduced ODF related diseases in the village significantly & therefore productivity of the village; validating the economic impact of the programme
Proactive support from change leaders to facilitate government funding of toilets is key;
Demonstrated how well trained change leaders can mobilise & unleash the potential of citizens to taking ownership & driving change in sanitation;
Demonstrates the programme is well designed & can be effective in a limited time span.
PRI Leaders as Proactive Change Leaders can transform villages quickly; and Tennese should be upheld as a best practice example & disseminated to other change leaders on bringing about change in attitude towards sanitation in their communities.