Atul Kr. Tiwari*
Sanitation is one of the basic needs of life. In order to ensure sanitation facilities in rural areas with broader goal to eradicate the practice of open defecation, the Department of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation under the Ministry Of Rural Development has been making consistent efforts under the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC). The main goal of the Government is to eradicate the practice of open defecation by 2010.
TSC advocates a participatory and demand driven approach, taking a district as a unit to start with significant involvement of Gram Panchayats and local communities. The strategy is to make the Program 'community led' and 'people centered' and the focus is on promoting hygiene and behaviour change, the key features of the TSC include - A community led approach with focus on collective achievement of total sanitation;
Focus on Information, Education and Communication (IEC) to mobilize and motivate communities towards safe sanitation; Minimum incentives only for BPL households/poor/disabled, post construction and usage; Flexible menu of technology options; Development of supply chain to meet the demand stimulated at the community level; and Fiscal incentive in the form of a cash prize – Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) – to accelerate achievement of total sanitation outcomes.
For the Provision of Individual household latrines an Incentive of Rs. 1500/- and 700/- for each toilet is given by Central and State Government respectively to BPL households after they construct and use toilets. APL households are motivated to construct toilets with their own funds or by taking loans from SHGs, banks, cooperative institutions etc. Provision of Toilets in Schools and Anganwadis with the cost shared by Central and State Government in the ratio of 70:30. Construction of Community Sanitary Complexes; Assistance to Production Centers of sanitary materials and Rural Sanitary Marts and Solid and Liquid Waste Management.
Use of innovative strategies has been successful in enhancing the Rural Sanitation Coverage from a mere 1% in 1981 to over 67% in the current year. The progress made under the program is: Currently TSC is being implemented in 607 rural districts spread across 30 States and UTs. Sanitation Coverage has gone more than three times from 22 % in 2001 to 67 % by September 2010.
Under the program 7.07 crore individual toilets, 10.32 lakh school toilets , 3.46 lakh Anganwadi toilets and 19,502 sanitary complexes for women have been constructed till September 2010. It includes 3.81 crore BPL household toilets.
Construction of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL)
Here, the performance of Dadra & Nagar Havelli, Puducherry, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand is below the national average of 50%. Sikkim and Kerela have made commendable achievement of cent percent sanitation coverage in individual households. Regarding the construction of School toilets, the performance is below the national average in Meghalaya, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa, Nagaland, M.P., Uttarakhand, Tripura, Tamilnadu and Manipur.
Completion Of All School and Anganwadi Toilets by March ,2011
As against the target of construction of 13,14,636 school toilets 10,32,703 (78.55%) have been reported to be constructed. All states have committed to cover all uncovered rural schools and anganwadi with sanitation facilities by March 2011. Mizoram and Sikkim have already achieved the targets set under TSC for building school toilets. Budget allocation has been substantially increased during the 10th
Five Year Plan period from Rs. 165 crore in 2002-03 to Rs. 1580 crore in 2010-11.
The total financial outlay under the TSC is Rs. 19626.43 crore. Central, State and beneficiary shares of the projects are Rs. 12273.81 crore, Rs. 5205.79 crore and Rs. 2146.83 crore respectively. Rs.5870.61 crore has already been released by the centre out of which Rs. 4730.28 crore has been utilized by the States for implementation of the Program.
Expenditure against centre release is below national average in Punjab, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Manipur, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir.
Nirmal Gram Puraskar
Incentives under the Nirmal Gram Puraskar has contributed to the spurt in sanitation coverage after TSC was launched in 1999, average coverage between 2001 to 2004 rose to 3% annually. After NGP was launched in 2004, the average coverage is now increasing by about 7-8% annually.
Lack of priority for sanitation in some States; Non-release of State share by some States; Lack of emphasis on inter-personal communication at village level; Inadequate capacity building at grass root level; Lack of behavioural change among some households or members of the household; Inadequate number of toilets and urinals in schools in relation to strength of students; and Low emphasis on solid and liquid waste management are some of the constraints felt.
It is expected that approximately 2.4 crore more households shall be covered with sanitation facilities by the end of 11th
Plan. Approximately 1.2 crore rural households are being provided sanitation facilities each year. 3.18 crore households, therefore, shall still be required to be provided sanitation facilities in rural areas by the end of 11th
Plan. This balance number of 3.18 crore rural households approximately, shall be required to be covered for sanitation facilities during the 12th
Plan as per present project objectives. Any change in the definition of BPLs or identification of new households not having sanitation facilities shall change the requirement accordingly.
Flood affected, coastal, and hilly and desert areas require focused attention and specific solution. This may also involve development of appropriate and cost effective technologies with credible means of social mobilization.
Solid & Liquid Waste Management (SLWM)
Gram Panchayats need to be motivated to evolve institutional mechanisms for collection and disposal of biodegradable and non biodegradable waste. In pre-urban areas, its usage for toilet flushing needs attention.
Integrating sanitation programs with initiatives to improve water availability and health care would increase the likelihood of achieving public health outcomes such as reduction in diarrhea and other water borne & infectious diseases. TSCs, convergence with the rural water supply programs and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) program is of utmost importance.
Personal Hygiene Management
Focus is on provision of hand-washing as an integral part of sanitation facilities in schools and Anganwadis and provision for menstrual hygiene for rural women and adolescent girls.
Once the behavior change efforts now being made through pour-flushed toilets are successful, Eco Sanitation shall be required to be promoted to save water and to close the loop of sanitation through ecological means for which efforts need to begin early.
Disabled Friendly Toilets
Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) cannot afford to ignore sizeable population of physical challenged persons. At least one toilet for persons with special needs would be required to be provided in all institutions in rural areas.
Special Sectors for Convergence/Sanitation coverage
Need of greater convergence of TSC to provide clean and health environment in areas like
Railways, on highways and Sanitation and food hygiene at Tourists and religious places, weekly marketing areas etc.
In the wake of these developments the Department of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation under the Ministry Of Rural Development has been undertaking several initiatives to strengthen the implementation of the program. These include regular reviews of progress made by States in achievements of targets set under TSC, strengthening the Nirmal Gram Puraskar by revising the guidelines for enhancing greater transparency and credibility of the selection process. Among the other initiatives undertaken to make the program more effective include the Review of the IEC and HRD strategy for program implementation , Integration of sanitation technology options with TSC by organizing National Workshop and training programs on Eco Sanitation, strengthening the capacity of States for undertaking next generation sanitation activities like Solid and Liquid Waste Management .
It is expected that the new initiatives and measures would provide a further push to meet the basic requirements of sanitation in rural areas.
*Director ( M & C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi.